TODAY |

Hope for Kiwi still stuck in Myanmar jail after thousands pardoned

The Government hasn't given up on helping New Zealander Philip Blackwood who is languishing in a Myanmar jail for insulting religion.

Blackwood, from Wellington, was arrested and charged last December along with two Myanmar men after posting an online ad for his bar showing a psychedelic picture of Buddha wearing headphones.

In March they were sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison, including two years hard labour for insulting religion.

Phillip Blackwood’s been sentenced to more than two years in prison for offending Buddhism. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Blackwood, 32, and the two locals missed out on being one of 7,000 prisoners released last week as part of a presidential amnesty to mark a Burmese holiday.

Mr Blackwood's father, Brian Blackwood, has said the family is extremely disappointed and feels let down by authorities in Myanmar and the New Zealand Government.

Prime Minister John Key says he understands more will be done for Philip Blackwood.

"I think it's fair to say the Government's keeping a close eye on the situation," Mr Key told reporters. 

"With all of these things we do the best to provide support. But in doing so we want to make sure we don't make potentially the situation worse."

Mr Key says it's obviously very understandable that the family of Mr Blackwood are very disappointed he wasn't on the list. 

"My understanding is that there will be some more work done, if I can put it in those terms. But that's for another day," Mr Key said.

Brian Blackwood has said his son is innocent of the charges because he had no intention of insulting religion and posting the image was just a mistake.