The Christchurch Civic Creche Case

News Reports Index

1993 June-Dec

The Press
June 16, 1993.

Banks supports policeman

The Minister of Police, Mr Banks, yesterday backed comments by the police officer in charge of the Christchurch Civic Creche sex abuse inquiry

"It is well past time for community leaders to stand against evil," Mr Banks said.

"There is nothing wrong with police officers condemning what is wrong and there is certainly nothing wrong with police officers believing in God, I totally support Inspector Pearce."

Detective Inspector Brian Pearce's strong comments on society's morals and pornography have aroused controversy. He was speaking on Television New Zealand's "Holmes" programme on Monday night.

He was being interviewed about complaints against police handling of accusations against women workers at the creche.

He was asked whether people such as morals campaigner Patricia Bartlett should be taken more seriously.

"We've come into contact with a drug which is the most insidious drug I think that we have socially at this current time — the drug is pornography," he said.

"It's addictive and it's evil in every sense of the word and ……for too long I believe that our society has mocked the Patricia Bartletts, and the Graeme Lees, and the John Banks.

"What I'm saying is that I believe in a God who will not be mocked. And I believe this country is starting to reap the harvest of liberalism and of compromise and of double standards."

Mr Pearce denied that his personal beliefs influenced his treatment of the creche case.

The women have accused him of a lack of objectivity.

"I put together an inquiry team who were balanced in terms of their objectivity, in terms of their background of child abuse investigation, in terms of their background of investigation experience," he told "Holmes".

Miss Bartlett, a campaigner for the Society for Promotion of Community Standards, said: "It's very good to hear people in authority speaking about the double standards in our society."

The Labour Party's justice spokeswoman and Christchurch Central MP, Ms Lianne Dalziel, was concerned that Mr Pearce expressed his views while speaking as a police representative.

She did not believe his views affected the outcome of the creche case.

"I think it's unfortunate that he has expressed those views, but the matter has been placed before our judicial system where we've had a jury who has considered the case in great detail . . . I don't believe that the police could influence that outcome," she said.