New Zealand Law Society - Compensation of $2.5 million for Teina Pora

Compensation of $2.5 million for Teina Pora

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Justice Minister Amy Adams says Cabinet has agreed to pay just over $2.5 million in compensation to Teina Pora for his wrongful conviction and imprisonment.

She says this accepts an independent review by retired High Court Judge Rodney Hansen QC which confirmed Mr Pora's innocence on the balance of probabilities and recommended that compensation of $2,520,949.42 should be paid to him under the Cabinet guidelines.

"I have written to Mr Pora to acknowledge his innocence and unreservedly apologise to him for the devastating impact his wrongful conviction and imprisonment has had on nearly 20 years of his life," Ms Adams says. 

"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 Pora was convicted in 1994, and again in 2000, of murder, sexual violation by rape and aggravated burglary in relation to the death of Susan Burdett in Papatoetoe in 1992. 

In March 2015 the Privy Council quashed his convictions and did not order a retrial. Rodney Hansen QC was appointed by Ms Adams to provide advice on Mr Pora's application for compensation in June 2015.

"By and large, New Zealanders enjoy a fair and effective criminal justice system. However, mistakes are possible in any system that relies on human judgment. It's now clear the system has erred in this case, and this decision recognises this," Ms Adams says.

"Mr Pora's case has been a significant and complex application, and I wish to thank Rodney Hansen QC for his two excellent reports, which provided clear, methodical and thorough advice, and which greatly assisted me in preparing my advice to Cabinet on Mr Pora's claim."