- The Wellington High Court has ruled that the Government provided insufficient compensation to Teina Pora, and that the Cabinet guidelines on wrongful imprisonment were not correctly applied. (The guidelines, written in 1998, suggest $100,000 of compensation be paid per year of wrongful imprisonment.) When Mr Pora’s compensation was considered the Government rejected adding inflation costs since 1998 to his claim – even through that had been recommended by an independent retired High Court Judge. In effect then, aside from being wrongly accused by the state, wrongly imprisoned (for twenty years) by the state, Mr Pora was then wrongly compensated by the state for its past actions. Based on the ruling, Mr Pora’s legal team believe he should receive at least $500,000 more than the $2.5 million paid out last year.
[By way of background, in 1994 Mr Pora was found guilty of the 1992 rape and murder of Ms Susan Burdett, on the basis of his confessions to the crimes. However, two years later, in 1996, scientific (DNA) evidence linked Malcolm Rewa to the rape of Ms Burdett. In 1998 Mr Rewa – who was already a convicted serial rapist – was then found guilty of Ms Burdett’s rape, but not her murder (there was a hung jury on that charge). Following this, Mr Pora’s case was then reheard, however in 2000 he was again found guilty of the rape and murder of Ms Burdett (i.e. that he was with Mr Rewa). This conviction ultimately led to the appeal to the Privy Council, which centred on both the reliability of Mr Pora’s confessions – given at age 17 after alleged duress from police officers – and on the fact that another person had already been convicted of the rape. In 2015 the Privy Council quashed the convictions of Teina Pora. The Law Lords found that the effects of Pora’s foetal alcohol disorder meant reliance on his confessions gave rise to the risk of a miscarriage of justice. Mr Pora was released at that time.]
- NZ Pure Blue has had its request for a non-notified consent to take water from the Pataruru Blue Springs declined by Ngāti Raukawa. The iwi considers it will be harmful to the health of the waterway. This means the company must now go through a formal consenting process should it wish to proceed with its application.
The coronial inquest into the death of 3-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri, who died 10th August 2015 is underway in Rotorua. The media articles are heavy and sad reading.