Double murderer Scott Watson has been refused parole because he poses a risk to the safety of the community.

Watson appeared before the Parole Board for the first time today.

He is currently serving a life sentence for the 1998 New Year's Day murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope in the Marlborough Sounds.

He became eligible for parole recently.


"The board has declined to release Mr Watson on parole as it considers he remains an undue risk to the safety of the community," a spokesman said.

"The board will see Mr Watson again in 12 months' time."

The full written reasons for the Board's decision will be provided to the Herald at a later date.

The board will not be making any further comment.