Teina Pora could be awarded $2 million in compensation after his convictions for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett were quashed this week.
Yet even that payout, which legal experts said was likely if Pora overcame remaining legal hurdles, would be far lower in real terms than Arthur Allan Thomas received.
The 1980 report of the royal commission into Mr Thomas' conviction for the Crewe murders recommended compensation of $950,000.
Based on Reserve Bank inflation figures, that was at least $4.13 million in today's money.
Mr Thomas spent nine years in jail, while Mr Pora spent 21 years behind bars.
Using the 1980 royal commission as a template, and adding inflation and additional jail time alone, a compensation figure for Mr Pora could be at least $9.6 million.
However, Stuart Grieve, QC, who assessed David Dougherty's eligibility for compensation after a 1997 acquittal, said Cabinet guidelines specified $100,000 for each year spent in jail - a figure unchanged for over a decade.
Mr Grieve said Mr Pora could be in line for some $2 million if a retrial was not ordered, or he was acquitted at a retrial, and wanted to apply for compensation.
"He's had what a lot of people would say is the best part of his life taken from him," Mr Grieve said. "He was only 17 when all this happened."
Factors such as loss of earnings when in prison could raise the amount, but a person's actions before imprisonment could reduce final compensation.
Nigel Hampton, QC, said the Cabinet would ultimately deem Mr Pora eligible for well over $1 million if he passed remaining legal obstacles.
Mr Hampton said any payout would be made in a lump sum, as the Cabinet aimed to resolve such issues and move on without the hassle of paying in instalments.
Meanwhile, university students who worked free on Mr Pora's appeal to the Privy Council were among those celebrating this week.
Duncan Ballinger and Rosie Kos, from the University of Canterbury Law School's criminal cases review clinic, worked on the case last year.
The university paid for the two students to travel to London last November. There, they helped prepare the case, which relied on pro bono work after Mr Pora's supporters could not get legal aid assistance.
"This is a great victory for justice and I hope now that attention will focus on finding out who did kill Susan Burdett," said the Law School Dean, Associate Professor Chris Gallavin. "That is very important for the family of Ms Burdett and it is important for our community - no one wins in miscarriage cases."
Meanwhile, the Privy Council's decision means serial rapist Malcolm Rewa could stand trial for the murder for a very rare third time.
In 1996, DNA from semen at the scene of Ms Burdett's murder linked the attack to serial rapist Rewa, who was known for offending alone.
Rewa was eventually convicted of raping 27 women, including Ms Burdett, but two hung juries could not reach a verdict on murder charges.
Dr Gallavin said there was "a good chance" the Attorney-General, on the Solicitor-General's advice, could push for a fresh murder trial for Rewa.
But Dr Gallavin said it was "very rare" to be tried three times on the one charge.
A Crown Law Office spokeswoman said it was too soon to say if Rewa would face a third trial.