New Zealand Labour Party

Justice for Teina Pora long overdue

The Privy Council’s decision to quash Teina Pora’s convictions for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett could be the final chapter in a case that should have been closed years ago, Labour’s Justice Spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“Teina Pora has spent more than 20 years in prison, despite overwhelming public evidence that a miscarriage of justice occurred.

“The decision of the Privy Council to uphold his appeal has come with a hefty price tag not only for all the families involved in this case, but also the justice system.


“It didn’t have to be this way. Labour has been calling for a Criminal Cases Review Commission - an independent body to deal with claims of wrongful conviction and miscarriage of justice – for several years now.

“In countries such as England, Scotland, and Norway commissions act as a safety valve for the justice system, ensuring miscarriages of justice are properly investigated and remedied.

“In New Zealand it would essentially replace the Royal Prerogative of Mercy process, which is a lengthy and potentially conflicted procedure, leaving the decision to the ministry responsible for administering the justice system.

“Had a Commission been established here it would have provided a far more streamlined process for Teina Pora’s case.

“Instead our justice system failed Teina Pora. It’s our job to make sure that never happens again.”