GUEST BLOG: Jackie Foster – Allan Hall Petition


Social Justice Aotearoa has created a petition seeking a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the wrongful conviction of Allan Hall. 

Allan Hall was convicted of murder in 1986 at age 23 and spent a total of 19 years behind bars for a crime he always maintained he did not commit.

Extensive police questioning of Hall ensued and investigator Tim McKinnel said the nature of the questioning, and the vulnerability of a man singled out for being different was problematic.

The description of the attacker and key witness statements from a man who was in the area at the time, were concealed by police, and a jury found Hall guilty of the murder in 1986.

the Crown failed to disclose all evidence, which weakened the defense’s case, including statements from witnesses about the ethnicity of a person seen, and evidence about which was the assailant’s dominant hand.

The evidence from police interrogation should have been excluded because they went on for too long, without a lawyer and without any recordkeeping.

Justice had been seriously miscarried through extreme incompetence or even a deliberate strategy to achieve a conviction.

Evidence from four witnesses was withheld from the judge and the jury. A witness who saw the intruder running away, told the police several times that the man he saw was Māori and Police specifically questioned him about this evidence but declined to call that witness to testify at the trial, instead getting that witness to sign a written statement which was then read to the jury however, the police altered that statement before it was presented to the court. Turner was unaware the police had changed his statement until two years later.

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The police also withheld from the court statements from two other witnesses stating that the intruder was Māori also failing to disclose testimony (about the intruder’s ethnicity) from the ambulance officer who attended scene on the night of the fatality.

Not only did the police remove vital information from witnesses’ statements, but they also added something to it which hadn’t been said. 

The whole Allan Hall investigation, conviction, and eventual pardon, is, I believe one of Aotearoa’s darkest days in policing and clearly shows how arrogant police can be. 


Jackie Foster, CEO, Social Justice Aotearoa


  1. “Social Justice Aotearoa has created a petition seeking a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the wrongful conviction of Allan Hall. ”
    Awesome! And while they’re at it, how about having them inquire into our politics and our economy?

  2. Hi Jackie,
    Great work on this and other issues. Can you provide a link to the petition? If possible, please edit the post and include it above.
    Have a good day!

  3. Hi Jackie – great article. The public really need to know about this shocking corruption in the Police and also about why it was condoned and justified at the time. I seem to remember a regular commentator on TDB, Mr Ross Meurant has written a book or an article titled ‘When good cops go bad’ or something like that. Perhaps someone should write a book on the Alan Hall case and title it ‘When corrupt cops become more corrupt’.

    Alan Hall spent nearly twenty years in prison for a crime he did not commit. But another one of the scary things is that there are lots of retired cops who will still claim he is guilty, just like they claim Arthur Allan Thomas and Teina Pora are guilty of the murders they did not commit.

  4. When they start locking up police involved in convicting innocent people I will believe something has changed, even taking their employment/pensions away would be a start.

    • I absolutely agree Bonnie, this has happened so many times and it takes years for the investigation and we never know what happens, I don’t know of any who lost their jobs, it is filthy stuff.

  5. The Allan Hall case has got to be one of the most damming, damaging pieces of police work riddled with corruption this country has ever seen .

    it is little wonder the public have no faith in the police or justice system, but on the back off Author Allan Thomas, Teina Pora, and others where are the investigations from within government?

    Why does it take someone like yourself to stoke the fire and actually get something done?

    Great work Jackie and I also will look forward to reading Martyns Blog when your petition goes live.

  6. So Labour had 6 years to set up a government office to review dodgy convictions but they didn’t, despite quite a few being maori. National had 9 years. Conclusion, it ain’t gonna happen.

  7. Like your thoughts here Jackie, agree wholeheartedly but once the inquiry has been completed what do you think these 3 clowns we have trying to form a government will do about it?

    Lets be honest here, Mark Muppet Mitchell will probably end up as the Minister of Police and being an ex cop himself I would suggest any findings will be hush hush swept under the carpet “cant make the boys in blue look bad”

    Not one of the so called “elected” parties campaigned on any of these kinds of issues, real issues like corruption and crime at the highest levels, and we all know its going on?

    I am amazed how openly you write and speak your truth, seemingly not scared of politicians, so what is the next move to try and open up the mess we call our police?

    With the three musketeers, Luxon, Peters and Seymour we are already sinking and the bloody ship hasn’t even left the dock yet!

    • Thanks for your comments.
      So what will National, Act or NZ First do about an Inquiry? Probably Nothing but my job here is to push for an Inquiry and follow it through and get it publicly released unlike the inquiry into the protest that was redacted so much that it may as well have not been written.
      In relation to Mark Mitchell, our position is that the minister of police should in no way be connected to policing. Qualified yes but totally independent and this is something we will not back away from.
      I feel that the word corruption is a terrible word in politics in New Zealand, where a lot of politicians say “oh never in our country, its not possible’ where both you and I know that it is rife, as has been shown in the case of Allan Hall. SJA will bring it to the countries attention with clear evidence and we will not back off until something is done and people are held to account.
      The police need pulling into line and we will start by getting the IPCA turned into an independent authority that no ex-police can be part of, headed by a suitably qualified person from another country. Independence is so important.
      Thanks again, keep watching because SJA has just started.

  8. There is currently a three part documentary on Prime, called “death on the beach”, set in Thailand.
    In which Thai police, on the island of Ko Tao, implicate 2 Burmese in the 2014 murder of a British couple. The Burmese are beaten in police custody and sign confession documents written in a language they can’t read, and are told by police that they will only do a few years in gaol, but actually face execution, and the initial evidence was a footprint (not a fingerprint) in the sand, that should have been washed away by the tide.
    ( (
    This has some similarity to well known false imprisonment cases in NZ. It seems that when Police are investigating a serious crime, they initially suspect anyone and everything, and then narrow their focus as they get more information. But if there’s no obvious suspect, then they may look at less obvious suspects, who don’t have a handy alibi, who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or in the eyes of police just “look the part”. So if a serious crime happens in your location, you better hope that you don’t, look the part. This confirmation bias, actually helps the real murderer then get off the hook. I bet I could solve tons of cases, if I just pinned it on anyone who looked the part. And targeting persons to take the rap, because they appear different or outlyers in society, is earily similar to the targetting used by serial killers, such as Dharmer. Obviously detectives shown doing this should be assigned elsewhere, and police should always be open to new information that comes to light, and hiding important evidence from the court should be a crime, if isn’t already. But you get the feeling, that if police are prepared to hide important evidence in the first place, would they really be open to new exculpatory evidence?
    Also, Mp’s should never be allowed to directly coerce police decision making. The mutterings of Mitchell about replacing the police commissioner, must immediately preclude him from that portfolio.

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