Government to pay Teina Pora $2.5m compensation

Teina Pora spent more than 20 years wrongfully gaoled. With special feature audio.

Teina Pora will receive about $2.5 million in compensation after wrongfully being convicted of rape and murder, for which he spent more than 20 years in jail.

Justice Minister Amy Adams announced today the cabinet had accepted an independent review which found Mr Pora innocent of the charges on the balance of probabilities.

The government has agreed to pay him $2,520,949.42 in compensation, as was recommended in a report by retired High Court Judge Rodney Hansen, QC.

Ms Adams says New Zealanders “by and large” enjoy a fair and effective criminal justice system but “mistakes are possible.”

“It’s now clear the system has erred in this case and this decision recognises this.”

Ms Adams says she has written to Mr Pora to acknowledge his innocence and apologise for the “devastating impact” the wrongful conviction and imprisonment has had on two decades of his life.

“While it can never completely remedy the injustice Mr Pora has suffered, I hope that these findings, along with the compensation, can go some way in helping him and his family build a better future together.”

Mr Hansen, QC, was last June appointed to provide advice on Mr Pora’s compensation claim after the Privy Council had quashed his convictions a few months earlier.

His first report in March had concluded Mr Pora was innocent.

Mr Pora had been convicted in 1994, and 2000, of murder, sexual violation by rape and aggravated burglary in relation to the death of Susan Burdett in 1992.

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