A National MP wants to see no parole for convicted murderers if they don't reveal the location of their victim's body.

While it could be popular with the public a law expert says the "no body, no parole" Member's Bill is unnecessary and risks punishing those wrongly convicted.

And the Government has labelled the policy as "dog whistle politics".

Hamilton West MP Tim Macindoe, who lodged the bill, says it will help with bringing closure to those who have lost their loved ones.


"Sadly, there are some offenders who refuse to disclose where the bodies of their victims are.

"This adds considerably to the distress of relatives who sometimes spend a lifetime agonising over what might have happened, and their inability to hold a funeral and lay their family member to rest."

Macindoe said he was not worried the bill could see wrongfully-convicted prisoners locked away for life, as it did not make it mandatory for the parole board to deny parole.

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The Concealment of Location of Victim Remains Bill would require the Parole Board to take into account a prisoner's refusal to reveal the location of their victim's body when considering whether they should be released.

National MP Tim Macindoe has lodged a
National MP Tim Macindoe has lodged a "no body, no parole" Members' Bill in the ballot. Photo / File

It would also require the sentencing court to include it as an "aggravating factor".

But a Government spokesperson said the Parole Board already takes into account genuine remorse and "refusing to assist in body recovery is clearly not remorse".

"The Members' Bill is dog whistle politics that will do nothing to ensure less offending, less re-offending, and fewer victims of crime."


Criminal Bar Association president Len Andersen QC said while the bill could resonate with the public, it likely would have no practical effect.

"It is not necessary. Part of what the Parole Board already looks at is remorse, and if someone admits they did it, but did not disclose where the body is, it clearly shows a lack of remorse and they would be unlikely to get parole."

The bill would only likely be relevant where a person was convicted but denied the crime.

"Statistics show about 10 per cent of people in prison are wrongly convicted, including for murder, so [the bill] could be providing a punishment for people wrongly convicted."

There were calls in the United Kingdom for a similar law in response to the murder of Helen McCourt, who disappeared in 1988 and whose body has never been recovered.

Ian Simms was convicted of her murder in 1989, and granted parole in November last year. He has never revealed the location of McCourt's remains, claiming he is innocent.

Macindoe's bill was part of National's Law and Order Discussion Document, which he said would "put victims at the heart of the justice system".