A man who admitted being an accessory to the murder of a friend whose body was found in a shallow grave covered in concrete near the Desert Rd has lost an appeal.
Yanlong Piao was sentenced to 14 months in prison by Justice Pheroze Jagose in July.
He had pleaded guilty to being an accessory to the murder of Bao Chang Wang, also known as Ricky.
Wang had been missing since 2017 and was believed to have moved overseas, abandoning his family.
With the help of Piao, police made the grisly discovery of human remains buried on the side of Rangipo Intake Rd, off the Desert Rd near Tongariro in March this year.
The body, which police said "had been in place for a period of time" was exhumed and a homicide inquiry codenamed Operation Quattro began.
Piao was the first person involved with the alleged murder to be sentenced.
On appeal, Piao's defence argued a "narrow" point about whether there should have been further reduction in his sentence considering the totality of offending, the decision released today and given by Justice Gendall said.
Piao was already serving a four years sentence for various charges involving methamphetamine offending. The 14-month term was added to this.
Defence lawyer Scott McColgan argued the total end sentence was "manifestly excessive".
"He submits when one stands back and considers what Mr Piao has done to assist in bringing the alleged murderers of Mr Wang to answer for his death, imposing a 14-month sentence for this offending is 'wholly out of proportion to the overall criminality in both sets of offending'," Justice Gendall said.
At Piao's sentencing, the High Court judge found he played an "active role in the callous disposal" of Wang's body, Justice Gendall said.
"He noted particularly that the destruction of evidence after the taking of another's life requires denunciation and deterrence."
As to personal mitigating factors, Justice Jagose had recognised the guilty plea came at the earliest opportunity.
"However, Mr Piao's expressions of remorse to the pre-sentence report writer were not sufficient to warrant recognition, given that these were somewhat late, being made three years since the offending," Justice Gendall said.
To the point of the appeal the High Court judge had "expressly confronted" the question of totality and ruled the overall sentence reflected the seriousness of the offending.
The end sentence imposed was appropriate and not manifestly excessive, Justice Gendall said, dismissing the appeal.