Cabinet is to consider a high profile bid for compensation from Rex Haig.
Mr Haig was convicted of the 1994 murder of a crewman on his fishing vessel and served 10 years in prison.
In 2006, the Court of Appeal quashed his conviction. Mr Haig then made a claim for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment.
Briefing papers to the Justice Minister, Simon Power, say Dr Robert Fisher, QC, has been appointed to assess the claim.
The Minister is likely to consider it in the new year. The claim could cost more than $1 million if it is successful.
Cabinet guidelines indicate Mr Haig could be eligible to claim $100,000 for each year of his imprisonment, plus additional expenses.
Mr Haig says it will be a huge mental relief if his compensation bid is successful and will help him get on with his life.
However, he says it won't be enough to compensate him for what he could have had if he had not been convicted.