Stars make music video to 'free' Teina Pora

NEIL REID
Last updated 05:00 06/04/2014
Angela Bloomfield

IN SUPPORT: Angela Bloomfield has called for Teina Pora’s rape and murder convictions to be overturned.

Teuila Blakley
BACKING PORA: Teuila Blakley wants to see Teina Pora’s rape and murder convictions overturned.
Teina Pora
PETER MEECHAM
TEINA PORA: Waiting for his case to be heard by the Privy Council.

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Kiwi celebrities have banded together in a music video calling for Teina Pora's rape and murder convictions to be overturned.

Pora was paroled on Monday following 21 years in prison after twice being convicted of the 1992 rape and murder of Susan Burdett.

He continues to claim his innocence and the Privy Council, in London, is set to hear an appeal later this year.

The video, released under the name "An Artistic Response to the Teina Pora Case", features an array of Shortland St stars, Mana Party leader Hone Harawira and a string of hip-hop artists including Che Fu, Mareko, Ermehn, Tha Movement, Teva, Devolo, Dok02, Poetik, Laybaq and Mr Sicc.

The video also features clips of Pora in court and a voice-over from his daughter, Channelle Bennett.

Shortland St stars Pua Magasiva, Angela Bloomfield, Frankie Adams, Cameron Jones, Amelia Reid and Teuila Blakely all appear in handcuffs and wearing T-shirts proclaiming "Free Teina", as does Harawira.

Magasiva, who plays nurse Vinnie Kruse on Shortland Street, said: "There are really strong grounds for giving Teina Pora an opportunity for a fair trial, something that didn't appear to have happened the first time round."

Magasiva said it appeared the justice system did not always get things right. "I hope more people will start to speak up about injustice in general and fight for those who don't have a voice."

Auckland-based music producer Matthew Salapu said some of the artists who featured had friends or relatives who served jail time alongside Pora. The idea of the song was first mooted by Ermehn, who grew up in Otara, South Auckland, just like Pora.

Salapu described the sentiments expressed in the song as "quite aggressive, pretty hardcore".

Before it was recorded, consent was obtained from Pora's daughter.

Salapu had been largely unaware of the conjecture surrounding Pora's convictions until approached about the music project.

But the more he learned, the more concerned he became about the validity of the convictions.

"I was kind of hesitant to lend my name to it if I didn't totally believe it," he said.

But he researched the case and was "absolutely shocked". "It became a real personal project of passion."

But, while he believed Pora was innocent of murdering and raping Burdett, Salapu was aware the convicted killer was no "angel".

"This guy was Mongrel Mob prospect. This kid was stealing cars and doing all these things [other crimes], lock him up for that, but to lock him up for something that he didn't do, that is fundamentally wrong and we were all quite united on that fact."

Pora had accumulated 66 convictions between the ages of 15 and 17.

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- Sunday Star Times

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