31 Mar 2014

Maori Party hopes for support for Pora

8:02 pm on 31 March 2014

The Maori Party is hopeful there are systems in place to support the convicted murderer Teina Pora when he is released from prison after 21 years.

The 38-year-old has been serving a life sentence for the 1992 rape and murder of Auckland woman Susan Burdett - crimes he denies having committed.

On Monday morning, Pora made his 13th appearance before the Parole Board at the maximum security prison at Paremoremo in Auckland.

The board said he no longer posed an undue risk to the safety of the community and would be released on an undisclosed date; the reasons for that decision would be released as soon as they were available.

The Burdett family and Pora maintain his innocence, and the Maori Party has linked his prolonged imprisonment to institutional racism in the justice sector.

Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell said he was pleased with the board's decision and wished Pora and his whanau well.

He said he hoped there were support mechanisms and whanau there to help Pora, who would be under pressure as he had been in prison for so long and from such a young age.