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Ex-immigration minister Tuariki Delamere says he will take legal action to recover the $1 million it cost to clear his name of defrauding his old department.

In an emotional outburst after a jury took less than two hours to find him not guilty of 14 charges of fraud and forgery, he accused the Serious Fraud Office of setting him up.

Earlier in the day six further charges were withdrawn after intense legal debate in chambers before Justice Patricia Courtney in the High Court in Auckland.

The 20 charges were laid by the SFO which claimed that while working as an immigration consultant Delamere told the Immigration Service $1m had been invested by each of seven overseas clients in a New Zealand company, qualifying them for New Zealand residency.

However, the SFO alleged said the same $1m paid by Delamere's business partner Yan Jiang was used seven times around.

Outside the court Delamere said a raft of legal and civil actions would begin within days.

"This case is far from over.

"It was a set-up orchestrated deliberately by the Serious Fraud Office..."

He said during his trial he discovered the SFO had hidden evidence; refused to provide him with evidence; refused to interview people who were crucial to his case and who could have proved his innocence earlier; refused to search Mr Jiang's place for documents because they did not want to find evidence that would support him.

Mr Delamere alleged the "vendetta" against him began in 2003 when he found evidence of what could be a "huge cover-up and possible bribery in the business migration unit"."

He said it would not be "far from the truth" to say it had cost him $1m to clear his name.

"The money is not important. The reputation, the belief from family is what hurt," he said.

He said his aunt died last year wondering if he was a criminal.

The Serious Fraud Office refused to comment.

- NZPA