A 44-year-old man appeared in the Nelson District Court on Tuesday charged with murder after the discovery of a woman's body in a car the previous day.
Name suppression was not sought for Michael William Beca, who did not enter a plea.
The accused, who has no fixed address, was arrested on Monday after telling the police the body of a woman was in a van parked near the police station in the central city.
Judge Tony Zohrab called for a mental health report on Mr Beca, saying he wanted to see if he was insane under the Crimes Act.
He has been remanded in custody until 27 March.
Police on Tuesday named the woman as Nelson resident Lisa Maree Corbett, who was 37.