'I want an apology then I can move on': Teina Pora

Teina Pora says his compensation claim isn't about money, but an apology.

Teina Pora. Source: 1 NEWS

"I deserve compensation, but for me it's not about the compensation," he told TV3's 3D yesterday in his first TV interview.

"I want an apology ... Then I can move on."

He said the money would never bring back the two decades he had spent in prison.

"But it would help my daughter, and my grandson, to live a good life," he said.

Mr Pora, now 39, spent more than 21 years in prison for the rape and murder of Auckland woman Susan Burdett in 1992, before his conviction was quashed this year by the Privy Council in London.

A retrial was ruled out.

When asked about what he thought of the police and justice system he said:

"To lock away a man for something he didn't do, and let him go through hell and the shit I had to live with: they go home and feed their kids while my daughter and I am suffering," he said.

"It eats me up inside."

Mr Pora in April put in a claim for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment and could be claiming more than $2 million.

Cabinet guidelines indicate Mr Pora could be asking for about $2.1m as compensation for loss of liberty and emotional harm is calculated on a starting point of $100,000 for each year in prison.

There are also payments for loss of future earnings by being jailed and Mr Pora may get a public apology or statement of innocence.

Ministry of Justice officials will assess Mr Pora's claim and if they deem it merits further assessment a Queen's Counsel, or retired judge, will be appointed to assess it.

The QC, or judge, will advise whether they think Mr Pora is innocent on the balance of probabilities and how much compensation he should get.

A final decision is made by Cabinet.

It is not clear whether in proving his innocence, Mr Pora will have to prove who killed Ms Burdett.

In 1994, he admitted he accompanied serial rapist Malcolm Rewa to Ms Burdett's house.

In 1998, Rewa was found guilty of raping 39-year-old Ms Burdett, among more than two dozen victims, but two hung juries couldn't reach a verdict on whether or not he murdered Ms Burdett.