GRACE Millane's killer has been given a life sentence and will serve a minimum of 17 years.

The New Zealand man found guilty of murdering British backpacker Grace Millane, 22, from Wickford, has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years.

The man, who has name suppression, appeared in Auckland’s high court on Friday morning, flanked by two court security guards.

Millane, who was travelling the world, met her killer on the dating app Tinder before they shared some drinks at a few bars on the eve of her 22nd birthday in December 2018.

She died in the man's apartment in the CityLife Hotel.

During the couple's date, CCTV showed the pair appeared to be enjoying each other's company as they returned to his small downtown Auckland apartment.

The university graduate would never leave the room alive - her body later found dumped in a shallow grave in the Waitākere Ranges.

Justice Simon Moore, in charge of the proceedings, told the court he could find "no factors" which shifted the killer's culpability.

He said it was not a case where the strangulation was driven by rage or was premeditated. But there can be "no doubt" Millane was vulnerable.

"You were a stranger, she trusted you," the judge told the killer.

"You are a large and powerful man, she was diminutive.

"You were in a position of total physical dominance."

He said only two people will ever know what really happened in the killer's apartment, and "one of them is dead".

Some of the killer's lies to police were sprinkled with truth, which he must have known police would discover at some point from CCTV footage or other means, Moore added.

The killer will be referred to a psychologist while serving his sentence. But, the judge said, no mental health issues had been diagnosed to date.

The killer has no previous criminal convctions.

He accepted that the bruises found on Millane's arms were consistant with "restraint".

It was common ground that at some point during her strangulation she would have lost consciousness, but it remains uncertain exactly when.

"We do not know if Miss Millane struggled, she most likely did."

Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey said the murder displayed a high-level of brutality.

Her death by strangulation was a "very personalised" way to kill a person.

Dickey said the actions of the killer after Millane's murder showed callousness, including his search for internet pornography and taking intimate photos of her dead body.

He said the killer "erotised" the murder which displayed "depravity".