Teina Pora says "for the first time he feels happy and free" after the Government announced he will receive nearly an extra $1 million in compensation.

Pora was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for 20 years for the 1992 rape and murder of Susan Burdett.

He was released on parole in 2014 before the Privy Council quashed his convictions in 2015.

Last year he received $2.52m and a government apology, but the High Court ruled that the amount should be adjusted for inflation.


Today Justice Minister Andrew Little announced that Pora will receive an extra $988,099 as an inflation adjustment, bringing the total compensation package to $3,509,048.42.

After a long legal battle, Pora's lawyer Jonathan Krebs and private investigator Tim McKinnel spoke to media outside the High Court at Auckland today following the announcement.

Krebs said the new Government has taken an "incredibly fair, very sensible and pragmatic approach" to further payment.

"We have to say this, I think Tim and I, and Ingrid [Squire], who can't be with us today, make the point that this is the first occasion in over eight years that a Government and any official has agreed to anything we have sought."

However, the lawyer made the point that Pora remains the single New Zealander who has served the longest period of imprisonment due to a wrongful conviction and remains the least compensated on a per-day basis.

But Krebs said it was "an appropriate sum in today's climate".

Pora's lawyer Jonathan Krebs and private investigator Tim McKinnel speak to media. Photo / Sam Hurley
Pora's lawyer Jonathan Krebs and private investigator Tim McKinnel speak to media. Photo / Sam Hurley

McKinnel said Pora was "absolutely thrilled and quite emotional" at today's news.

Pora wished to thank Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Little for their expediency, his legal team, and the journalists who have reported on his case.


"In Teina's words he wanted to thank the Andrew guy who's fixing it all," McKinnel said.

"He said to me this morning that for the first time he feels happy and free."

McKinnel added that Pora also maintains an active interest in Burdett's unsolved murder.

Krebs said without McKinnel's "dogged pushing to get into the case" Pora would still likely have been behind bars, and described the former police officer as the true hero of the case.

Both Krebs and McKinnel also said they wished to see a criminal cases review commission established.

"Our courts work on an adversarial system, that means that you have two parties pushing in an opposite direction and testing the evidence of the other side ... However, there are times when things go wrong," Krebs said.

"Mr Pora's case was a case that was wrong from the outset and at no stage has anybody in any official position until last week, or until this week really, stepped back and said 'something's gone wrong and we should all look together at the corpse of this case and work out what's happened'."

Krebs said Pora's team had met resistance "day after day, week after week, year after year" for Pora's justice.

"I don't know [why]. If I knew why it was, I guess it could be relatively easily fixed," he said.

"But the big fix is looking at a criminal cases review commission and that is something we will be lobbying for if we get the opportunity."

McKinnel said: "We started this case quite naively - we thought we would gain co-operation quite quickly - we thought the facts were quite obvious and we thought that eventually people would come to their senses."

However, he added the "culture" from the Government was to resist a fight to prove a man's innocence.

"I have real issues with a justice system that sees justice as secondary to preserving what is already in place," he said.

McKinnel continued that Pora's team believed a range of $6-8m would have been consistent with what others have been paid, but Pora was "more than happy".

The funds will be paid into a trust.

"In terms of [Pora's] legal case there is nothing more to fight for," McKinnel said.