Bain-Collins case to stay in Auckland

David Bain's case against the Justice Minister Judith Collins will be heard in Auckland, a court has ruled.

Bain is seeking a judicial review into the way Collins treated a favourable report from former Canadian Supreme Court judge Ian Binnie about his compensation claim.

His claim against the minister includes allegations that Collins breached Bain's rights to natural justice and his rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, acted in bad faith, abused her power, and acted in a biased, unreasonable and predetermined manner.

Collins wanted to matter shifted to Wellington, with her lawyer Kristy McDonald QC arguing Bain was not special and did not deserve special treatment.

Bain said he was entitled to have it heard in Auckland, where he filed it and where is counsel are. He said travelling to Wellington would be a burden on his funds, which are almost wholly provided by his supporters.

Justice Patrick Keane ruled today that the case would be heard in Auckland, because that's where a material part of it arose.

He said he did not take Bain's financial status into the decision.

Bain spent 13 years in prison for the 1994 murders of his parents, two sisters and a brother. He was later acquitted at a retrial.

Bain has applied for compensation for wrongful imprisonment, a decision at the discretion of Cabinet.

Binnie's report, released last year, found that on the balance of probabilities Bain was innocent of the murders and was wrongfully imprisoned.

Collins had the report peer reviewed by former New Zealand High Court judge Robert Fisher, who found inaccuracies in it. The claim has been frozen while the judicial review is under way.