The parole hearing of mass murderer Raymond Ratima is forcing the family of his seven victims to relive the horror of their death, says a family member.

Ratima knifed and bludgeoned seven people to death at a Masterton house in 1992. His parole hearing, originally scheduled for yesterday, has been postponed until tomorrow.

Rangi McGregor, speaking for the Ferguson family - several of whom were victims - said yesterday Ratima's pending parole hearing had dredged up powerful memories.

"I want you to imagine a guy going through a darkened house with a hammer, bashing people to death," he said at a meeting in Parliament organised by campaigners for tougher sentences.

Ratima's pregnant sister-in-law, Nicola Ferguson, 20; her partner, Bevan Tepu, 21; their child Stephen, 3, and Nicola's brother Phillip Ferguson jnr, 14, were murdered.

Ratima's own children, Piripi, 7, Barney, 5, and Stacey, 2, were the other victims.

"Eleven years ago and we are still hurting, while he is sitting in an air-conditioned cell smoking," Mr McGregor said. Ratima should never be released from jail.

Tubby Ferguson, mother of Ratima's former wife Toni, said she had been told the case had been deferred so the board could consider all the material before it.

Mrs Ferguson had spoken to the Parole Board on Monday and made clear her opposition to Ratima's release because of family safety.

The Parole Board confirmed Ratima's hearing had been moved to tomorrow.

- NZPA