Tomorrow convicted serial rapist Malcolm Rewa will defend for the third time a charge that he is also a murderer.

Rewa is charged with the murder of Susan Burdett who was found raped and bludgeoned to death in her South Auckland home in 1992.

In 1998 he was convicted of having raped Burdett but two juries were unable to decide whether he murdered her.

At the time of those trials Teina Pora was already serving a prison sentence for her rape and murder.


In 2015 the Privy Council quashed Pora's convictions and he later received $3.5 million compensation from the Government for having wrongly spent 21 years in prison.

The miscarriage of justice prompted authorities to consider trying Rewa again.

But to do so a stay put in place after the second hung jury preventing another prosecution had to be set aside.

There appears to be no previous example where this had occurred in New Zealand.

However, the way was cleared for a third trial when Chief High Court judge Justice Geoffrey Venning last year decided it was in the interests of justice that the trial proceed.

Malcolm Rewa, Ponsonby serial rapist. Photo / Supplied
Malcolm Rewa, Ponsonby serial rapist. Photo / Supplied

The reasons were not released to the media.

Because of the considerable publicity generated by the miscarriage of justice that befell Pora, the courts have placed restrictions in the interests of a fair trial on what can be reported prior to Rewa's third trial for murder.

Crown prosecutor Gareth Kayes and defence lawyer Paul Chambers will be presenting the cases. The trial before Justice Venning is expected to take four weeks.


John Barlow was the first in New Zealand to face three trials for murder. He was convicted after a third trial of slaying Wellington businessmen Gene and Eugene Thomas, who were shot in their office in Invincible House on the Terrace 25 years ago.