TV3 has said this afternoon that it is happy to cooperate with police over new information released last night regarding the unsolved murder of Susan Burdett.

The network's Sunday night current affairs programme 3D Investigates featured a new witness account that puts serial rapist Malcolm Rewa at the scene of the crime.

A former neighbour of Susan Burdett, raped and murdered in her Papatoetoe home in 1992, told the programme that she saw Rewa sitting alone in his truck, which was parked in Burdett's driveway.

READ MORE: New witness in Burdett case


The programme also spoke to the stepfather of Rewa's wife, Herb Manapiri, who backed up the story, saying that the witness had told his family and the police that she'd seen Rewa.

He also said a bat on Ms Burdett's bed belonged to Rewa.

He was shown footage of the bat from the crime scene.

Police said last night that they were not provided with the contents of the programme prior to broadcast, and so therefore were unable to comment on any specific matters aired in the programme.

"We invite the programme makers to submit any relevant information to Police for assessment.

"As we have previously stated Police has twice charged Malcolm Rewa with the murder of Susan Burdett.

"The Solicitor-General stayed further prosecution of Mr Rewa at the conclusion of his second trial in 1998, and it would require exceptional circumstances for the Solicitor-General to consider lifting that stay."

Today 3D Investigates executive producer Terence Taylor denied that claim, saying that an offer had already been made in advance of the programme's broadcast, but police had not taken it up.


"We told the police in early August that we were planning to broadcast a story including information pointing to Malcolm Rewa's involvement in the murder of Susan Burdett. The police declined to be interviewed and showed no interest in ascertaining what that information was."

Today a spokeswoman for the Solicitor-General said the principles for the lifting of a stay in these unusual circumstances were untested.

"That said, the most likely situation in which such a stay may be lifted would be if new and compelling evidence in relation to the murder were to become available; and the public interest favoured the lifting of the stay."

She said it was always, and remains, the Crown case that Malcolm Rewa raped and murdered Susan Burdett.

"His first jury could not reach a verdict on either charge. The second jury found Rewa guilty of rape but could not agree on the murder charge. The Solicitor-General entered a stay of proceedings in relation to the murder charge, bearing in mind the sentence imposed on Rewa.

"Lifting that after this period of time requires new and compelling evidence Rewa murdered Ms Burdett. New evidence that Rewa was at the scene on the night of the offending would not meet the threshold because it remains incontrovertible Mr Rewa raped Ms Burdett as part of the murder."

The spokeswoman said the Crown could not comment on Mr Pora's alleged actions as a party, or assistant, to Rewa's offending because he had brought a claim for compensation for wrongful conviction and the matter was before retired judge Rodney Hansen QC.

"To avoid doubt, it was never part of the prosecution case that Mr Pora acted alone or that he was the principal offender; he was found guilty as a party to offending by Rewa."

The two new witnesses revealed last night said they told police what they saw, but were not called to give evidence at his murder trials.

Teina Pora, who was 16 at the time of the attack, was in 1993 charged with the rape and murder of Ms Burdett and found guilty in 1994.

Evidence at his trial said the bat was owned by Burdett to use as protection.

Mr Pora's convictions were quashed in March when the Privy Council ruled he had suffered a miscarriage of justice.

DNA had been found at Burdett's home and linked to Rewa in 1996. He was found guilty of raping her but there were two hung juries at two trials in 1998 on the murder charge.

Rewa is currently serving a sentence of preventive detention with a 22-year minimum non-parole period for 24 rapes committed between 1987 and 1996, including 14 years to be served concurrently for Ms Burdett's rape.

He is eligible for parole in 2018.

Prime Minister John Key said it would be very unusual for Rewa to be tried a third time for the murder, after the Solicitor-General stayed proceedings in 1998.

"It's not impossible in theory that another case could be taken, but it's very unusual," he told TV3's Paul Henry this morning.

But if somebody took information to the police, they would follow a process of looking into it, Mr Key said.

Asked if he would encourage people to do so, he said: "It's a matter for them. If they genuinely think they've got information, yes they should go and do it."

Labour's Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern last night called for the case to be reopened.

In his ruling, the Privy Council's Lord Brian Kerr said that "the man who raped Burdett was undoubtedly Malcolm Rewa" and, that she was killed at the time she was raped, was not open to doubt.

"The revelation tonight that an eyewitness saw Rewa parked on the street where Susan Burdett lived, by himself, adds more evidence to the case," Ms Ardern said.

"As does the testimony of a member of Rewa's family.

"It's simply not good enough for the Crown to assume that because Rewa is serving a sentence of preventive detention, a trial isn't warranted. Where is the justice for the family of Susan Burdett?

"No one can turn a blind eye to what has been added to this case tonight - it's time for action to be taken."

Private investigator Tim McKinnel, a former detective who looked into the Pora case, told the Herald that the new information was "potentially really important" and clearly new.

"It's not something we've seen before and I've been through all of the files in some detail.

"One of the frustrations for us over the last five or six years is that the police have invested a great deal of time and money into trying to gather new evidence around whether or not Teina Pora was involved in the murder.

"They've stopped at nothing to gather that evidence and got nowhere for obvious reasons. But when it comes to whether there's a case against any other person, they seem reluctant to even look at it at all..."

Mr McKinnel said it would be difficult to discredit some parts of the information released tonight.

"Time and again we hear the police come out in these cold cases and say that peoples' loyalties and relationships change over time - and that's absolutely true - and so they make appeals to people for evidence in these cold cases.

"Well it's no different in this case, so why don't they have any interest in trying to develop new evidence or at least make inquiries into the case to see whether there is new evidence that wasn't covered the first time round?"

He said he had spoken to Teina Pora and his lawyer Jonathan Krebs earlier today about the revelations.

"Our collective view is that this is yet more justification for the police to reopen the case, and not just reopen it but appoint some fresh eyes to it."

Mr McKinnel said this had been their position for some time now.

"We've been of the view since Teina's convictions were quashed that that much would warrant the reopening of the investigation.

"Police have taken a different view and said they need new evidence, well here it is delivered to them on a platter. It's a shame that they couldn't do it themselves."