Lawyers for Teina Pora will argue in court tomorrow that the Government short-changed him by half a million dollars.

Pora, who spent 21 years in jail in one of New Zealand's worst miscarriages of justice, has taken a judicial review of the Government's decision not to add inflation to compensation paid to him.

"That's the amount we think he's been short changed," Tim McKinnel, who worked to free Pora and expose the miscarriage of justice, told the Herald on Sunday.

On an annual basis, his compensation was less than anyone else in New Zealand's criminal justice history, McKinnel said.

Pora, 41, was paid $2.52 million compensation in June last year and received a Government apology for being wrongfully convicted of rape and murder.


But an inflation component was not added, despite a recommendation that it should made by Justice Rodney Hansen. Hansen was hired by the Government to assess whether Pora met the standard - innocence on the balance of probabilities - required to qualify for compensation.

"I find it hard to understand why Minister [Amy] Adams and Cabinet took such a miserable approach," McKinnel said.

"In Justice Hansen's words it is anomalous and unjust. Teina spent more than two decades in prison for something he was innocent of.

"Why do the Minister and Cabinet think that is fair? Why inflict yet another injustice on him?"

Adams told the that the decision not to adjust Pora's compensation for inflation was "lawful and consistent with the Cabinet guidelines for wrongful conviction and imprisonment".

"As the matter is currently before the Court, further comment would not be appropriate.
The Crown will be represented by Paul Rishworth QC," she said.

Pora will be represented by Jonathan Krebs, who led his appeal at the Privy Council, and equity law (fairness) specialist Gerard McCoy QC, of Blackstone Chambers.

Pora is planning to attend Monday's hearing.

"The only question Teina ever asks us is whether he has been treated fairly since he proved his innocence," said McKinnel.

"When you look at history, it is clear to us he hasn't been. That is why Teina decided challenge the Minister and Cabinet's decision not to adjust for inflation in court."

Pora was convicted by two juries of the 1992 rape and murder of Susan Burdett.

His convictions were quashed by the Privy Council in 2015.

In May the Commissioner of Police announced an application would be made to the court to try Malcolm Rewa a third time for Burdett's murder.

Rewa was convicted of raping Burdett. Two juries could not agree on a verdict for murder.

Key dates


Pora convicted of the rape and murder of Susan Burdett.

2000 Convicted again, after earlier conviction quashed.

2014 Pora was released from prison at his 13th appearance before the Parole Board.

2015 The Privy Council quashed Pora's convictions.

2016 March: A retired High Court judge, hired by the Government to review the case, finds Pora innocent on the balance of probabilities.

June Government awards $2.5 million compensation.

2017 Pora challenges decision not to adjust his compensation for inflation.