National MP Tim Macindoe wants 'no body, no parole'

National has proposed a 'no body, no parole' law - effectively forcing killers who don't reveal the locations of their victims' bodies to serve their full sentences. 

The idea's been put forward in a Member's Bill by Hamilton West MP Tim Macindoe, but there are doubts whether it will have any impact on reducing crime. 

"If there is a very clear sense that the offender was guilty, was rightfully convicted, but is still refusing to identify the location of the victim's remains, then my Bill would give the Parole Board a strong steer that they shouldn't give the offender parole," Macindoe told RNZ.

He says when offenders refuse to disclose where the body is, families of the victim suffer increased distress. 

Victims' advocate Ruth Money welcomed the Bill, but doubts it'll have any effect on offenders' willingness to commit crimes.

"The families that I've worked with where we've been waiting for news of a body, the offender was so nasty and so malicious, they didn't care about parole."

Money says having the body doesn't give closure, but gives answers.

"Any improvement in victims' rights is welcome and long overdue - albeit this will be applicable to a very small group of people... There are 80 to 100 homicides a year - how many people are actually missing a body? But that said, it's vital for that group of people."

Macindoe said people spend their lives agonising over what might have happened, and that they haven't been allowed to bury their loved one. 

"The United Kingdom is considering a similar law in response to the murder of Helen McCourt, who disappeared in 1988 and whose body has never been recovered," he said in a statement.

"The offender was sentenced to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 16 years. He has never revealed the whereabouts of Helen’s body."

The Bill will go into the ballot, and only discussed in Parliament if it is randomly drawn.