The New Zealand Government is still awaiting the conclusions of an independent report looking at whether David Bain should be compensated for wrongful conviction.

Hon Ian Callinan AC QC, a former Justice of the High Court of Australia, was hired in March to conduct a fresh inquiry into Mr Bain's claim for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment.

Justice Minister Amy Adams said at the time that she expected a report back "within six months".

But a spokesman for her office today told NZME News Service that Mr Callinan's inquiry is "still ongoing" and "tracking along".


"We don't have any updates at this stage," he said.

Mr Callinan did not respond to queries today.

And Mr Bain's long-time advocate Joe Karam refused to comment about the ongoing wait for compensation.

"I've got nothing to say about it at the moment."

The crucial question for Mr Callinan to decide is whether Mr Bain - who married last year and became a father for the first time - has proven his innocence on the balance of probabilities.

If that is the case, he has also been asked to say whether he believes Mr Bain's innocence has been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

A 2012 report by former Canadian Supreme Court Justice Ian Binnie recommended compensation based on the view that Mr Bain was probably innocent - not innocent beyond reasonable doubt.

Mr Binnie's report noted that he was instructed that probable innocence was a minimum requirement for compensation.


Unhappy with the report, then-Justice Minister Judith Collins ordered a review of it by Robert Fisher QC, which found he made several errors of law.

Earlier this year when Mr Callinan was commissioned, Ms Adams said he was being asked the question about innocence beyond reasonable doubt because Cabinet has previously treated that as an example of "extraordinary circumstances".

An "extraordinary circumstances discretion" allows Cabinet to consider compensation claims on a case-by-case basis and in the interests of justice.

Ms Adams said it would consider Mr Callinan's advice on the two questions on innocence before any further advice is sought.

Government has agreed to set aside all previous advice on the matter.

Mr Bain was imprisoned in 1995 after being convicted for the murder of his parents, two sisters and brother in Dunedin.

He spent 13 years in prison before being found not guilty of murder in a retrial.

Based on previous awards, Mr Bain could be entitled to at least $2 million if Cabinet approves compensation.

The new inquiry will likely cost around $400,000. That would bring the total cost of the compensation case to nearly $1 million.

NZME kb pd