The Christchurch Civic Crèche Case

News Reports

Last       2000       Next

Last updated July 24 2006

2000-1210 - Sunday Star Times - Creche case death
One of three Christchurch civic creche workers charged, then later acquitted, of sexually assaulting children eight years ago died on Friday. Jan Buckingham, 52, died from complications associated with a minor stroke she suffered five weeks ago, her husband Paul Buckingham, said yesterday.

2000-1208 - TV3 News - Peter Ellis on friend's death
Peter Ellis is saddened by the death of Jan Buckingham at the age of 52. Ellis says it is tragic that she died before Justice Eichlebaum has completed his inquiry into the case, and thinks it was the allegations of child abuse made by police that killed her

2000-Summer - Court Review - Recordings of Child Interviews (pdf file)
Court Review, Volume 37, Issue 2 - Summer 2000; American Judges Association
"Why Judges Must Insist on Electronically Preserved Recordings of Child Interviews"
Stephen J Ceci and Maggie Bruck

2000-1113 - Otago Daily Times - Dunedin author in dispute over book
A book on the controversial Peter Ellis child sex case will not be published by Canterbury University Press after a dispute with the award-winning Dunedin author

2000-1108 - The Press - Contract dispute over Ellis book
by Yvonne Martin - A book being written on the controversial Peter Ellis case by author Lynley Hood will no longer be published by Canterbury University Press after a dispute. Ms Hood, of Dunedin, confirmed yesterday that her contract with Canterbury University Press for her book, A City Possessed, had been terminated. The two parties signed a contract for the book in November, 1995. It was originally due to be published the following year, but that changed.

2000-1101 - Dominion - Row delays publication of creche case blockbuster
by David McLoughlin - A long expected
book promising revelations about the Christchurch Civic Creche child abuse case has been delayed again because of a dispute between author Lynley Hood and publisher Canterbury University Press

2000-0921 - The Press - Child abuse
by John Read -
The David McLoughlin article (September 1) seems a little unbalanced. ........Neither uncritical acceptance of Professor Loftus' work, nor the type of "journalism" practised by Mr McLoughlin, seem likely to assist us to deal with our current child abuse.

2000-0902 - Evening Post - Thanks for the memories 
by Diana Dekker - Some psychologists lost their cool this week when Professor Elizabeth Loftus visited New Zealand to speak at the Psychological Society's annual conference. Diana Dekker finds out why. ......The clash was over the presence of Professor Elizabeth Loftus. She's world famous in psychological circles.

2000-0901 - Waikato Times - Ellis inquiry extended
NZPA - The deadline for the ministerial inquiry into the Peter Ellis case has been extended to February 28 next year. The original reporting date was yesterday

2000-0901 - The Press - Anger as hearing delayed  
by Martin Van Beynen - A six-month delay in the inquiry into Peter Ellis' convictions for child abuse comes as a complete surprise and is unacceptable, Ellis' lawyer says. Justice Minister Phil Goff yesterday said he had granted the inquiry head, retired Chief Justice Sir Thomas Eichelbaum, an extension until February 28. His original reporting date was yesterday. The main reason for the extension was to allow for the engagement of high calibre international experts to assist the inquiry, Mr Goff said.

2000-0901 - The Press - Child sex abuse: uncovering the danger of suggestion
by David McLoughlin - A visiting American psychologist questions the belief that therapists can recover suppressed memories of childhood sexual abuse. She caused quite a stir even before her arrival, finds David McLoughlin ...........Before she even arrived in New Zealand, she was attacked. Several members of the Psychological Society sought revocation of her invitation to deliver a keynote speech to the society's conference in Hamilton last weekend. One of them, Dr John Read, of Auckland University, resigned from the society's executive in protest when the conference's organisers stood firmly in favour of Professor Loftus speaking.

2000-0901 - Otago Daily Times - Delay in inquiry shock to Ellis
A six-month delay in reporting on the Peter Ellis inquiry, announced yesterday by Justice Minister Phil Goff, was "unacceptable", Mr Ellis' lawyer, Judith Ablett-Kerr QC, said.

2000-0901 - TV One News - Peter Ellis shattered by Inquiry Delay
reactions from Ellis and Ablett Kerr

2000-0831 - TV One News - Ellis Inquiry Delayed
Inquiry outcome delayed for six months

2000-0829 - Dominion - Is this an abuse of the truth?  
by David McLoughlin - Research by psychology professor Elizabeth Loftus has debunked the recovered memory theory that she says has led to people being falsely accused of sexual abuse. David McLoughlin asks her why she courts so much controversy.

2000-0812 - Letter to Dominion - Response to David McLoughlin's report 
by Elizabeth Loftus - I write in response to David McLoughlin's August 5 piece about my invitation to speak to the New Zealand Psychological Society. I live in a country where freedom of speech is one of the most cherished possessions that citizens have. Who would choose to live without it? I would hope that people would stand up against those who try to take it away.

2000-0809 - The Press - Memory debate rekindled 
by Victoria Clausen - Inviting a Washington University professor to speak against recovered memory syndrome at this year's Psychological Society annual conference has rekindled debate on the issue. Auckland University's head of psychology, Dr John Read, had resigned as the society's director of scientific affairs in protest at Professor Elizabeth Loftus being a keynote speaker at the Waikato conference.

2000-0805 - Dominion - Academics in sex abuse row 
by David McLoughlin - A row over academic freedom has erupted after attempts by a group of child sexual abuse campaigners to have a leading American academic stopped from giving a keynote speech to the New Zealand Psychological Society's annual conference this month. The dispute is so bitter that an executive member of the society, John Read of Auckland University, has resigned in protest at the society's refusal to revoke its invitation to Elizabeth Loftus of the University of Washington in Seattle.

2000-0722 - Dominion - Advert For Abuse Victims
by David McLoughlin - Former Christchurch Civic Creche staff are critical of Television New Zealand's 60 Minutes programme for an anonymous newspaper advertisement asking for "victims of sexual abuse" at the creche to come forward. The advertisement, published yesterday and on Wednesday in the personal columns of The Press, Christchurch, does not reveal it was placed by TVNZ or the programme. It says: "Are you a victim of sexual abuse at the Christchurch Civic Creche in the 1980s?", and to contact Brent Fraser on an 0800 number. Mr Fraser is a producer for 60 Minutes.

2000-0720 - The Press - Brent Fraser TV "60 Minutes" Public Notice
Advertisement by Brent Fraser:  "
Are you a victim of Sexual Abuse at the Christchurch Civic Creche in the 1980s? Contact Brent Fraser  0800 455111  Confidential."

2000-0704 - TV One News - Inquiry Into Peter Ellis Case
Govt announces ministerial inquiry

2000-0626 - Otago Daily Times - Abuse low priority
The leaked document, Police Child Abuse Teams , written on June 15 by specialist course co-ordinator Detective Sergeant Brent Tomlinson, says staff are untrained, investigation procedures are not followed and delays are common

2000-0611 - Sunday Star Times - Abusers denial  
by Sarah McGill - With respect to [Sandra Coney's] comments on Peter Ellis, abusers may not have horns, but in 1992, New Zealanders allowed the fact that Peter Ellis was a "creep" to also identify him as being a child abuser.

2000-0527 - Lancet - Quotation: Professor Graham Davies
I have investigated too many miscarriages of justice to have any faith in the capacity of the legal system to make accurate decisions

2000-0504 - Otago Daily Times - Ablett-Kerr calls for justice study
A Royal Commission of Inquiry is needed into New Zealand's justice system, Dunedin barrister Judith Ablett-Kerr QC told the local branch of the National Council of Women last night

2000-0428 - Act Party - Add Dale rape case to Ellis inquiry
by Stephen Franks M.P.;  The Dale rape case should be included in the Ellis inquiry to ensure a thorough investigation is made

2000-0400 - Menz Issues - Disappointment with Limited Ministerial Enquiry
by John Potter - ......
A Herald editorial went further, stating: "It is no longer enough to say that 'little ones do not lie' about a subject so unpleasant. They may not lie but nor do they easily distinguish truth from imagination."

2000-0326 - Sunday Star Times - The Coney creed 
by Dennis Horne - Sandra Coney reckons Piha is not dangerous (March 19), although thousands of swimmers are dragged out by lifeguards. Sandra Coney reckons Peter Ellis is guilty although there is not a skerrick of evidence. Sandra Coney simply believes what she wants to.

2000-0323 - Usenet - ACC Lump Sum Compensation
by David McLoughlin:
In 1995 I asked ACC under the Official Information Act how much ACC lump sum compo had been paid to the parents of crèche complainants.

2000-0322 - Govt - Shipley Either Sloppy Or Dishonest
NZ Government Press Release by Minister of Justice Phil Goff, 
Goff stated again this afternoon that the parents of children involved in the Ellis case have not been denied assistance for legal representation to the recently announced Ministerial Inquiry

2000-0322 - Parliament - Questions - Funding for inquiry
Will the Government fund the legal representations of the Christchurch Civic Crèche families to the ministerial inquiry into the Peter Ellis convictions?

2000-0322 - Parliament - Legal Representation
Tony Ryall: Will the Government fund the legal representations of the Christchurch Civic Crèche families to the ministerial inquiry into the Peter Ellis convictions?

2000-0320 - Government - Legal representation at inquiry
Thank you for your letter, requesting legal representation to enable the parents of the child complainants to make submissions to the Ministerial inquiry

2000-0319 - Sunday Star Times - Time to scrap adversarial legal system 

by Alan MacGillivray - I was delighted to read Sandra Coney's diatribe on the Ellis case (March 12) which focuses, albeit unconsciously, on the considerably more important issue of highlighting the fallibility of the British (miscarriage of) justice system which New Zealand continues to slavishly follow.

2000-0319 - Sunday Star Times - Ellis arguments  
by Gordon Waugh - For someone with so little genuine knowledge of the Peter Ellis case, Sandra Coney has a lot to say. Her commentary is ill-informed, emotive and misleading. It ignores the main issues.

2000-0319 - Sunday Star Times - Unease over Ellis

by Rod Robson - Sandra Coney's column about the Peter Ellis case is a misleading piece of polemic. She gives the incorrect impression that his guilt has been determined by four courts. He has been found guilty once - at his trial.  ....... Public unease about this case is justified.

2000-0318 - Otago Daily Times - Govt should fund legal costs for parents
The Government should fund the legal costs parents of Christchurch Crèche children would face in the ministerial inquiry into the case of convicted paedophile Peter Ellis, Opposition leader Jenny Shipley said yesterday

2000-0317 - National Party - PM Asked to show compassion
Statement by Jenny Shipley, Leader of National Party

2000-0313 - NZ Womans Weekly - Truth and Conviction
Feature, Page 19-21
;  The Peter Ellis case continues to divide New Zealand. Recently released from prison, the man himself talks about the fight to clear his name  As a show of faith, Peter Ellis could hardly have asked for anything more significant. Several of the children who had once attended the Christchurch Civic Crèche came to visit him in jail, former playmates of the very same children whose evidence had helped put Peter behind bars, branded a paedophile. It was displays of support like this - from the children, their parents and a growing number of New Zealanders concerned about the justice of the Ellis case - which helped Peter through the nearly seven years he served of his 10-year sentence. In 1993, he was convicted of sexually abusing children between 1986 and 1992 at the Christchurch crèche, where he worked”

2000-0312 - Sunday Star Times - We've  already been through the Ellis Case
Page C6, by Sandra Coney - ”We
have heard a lot recently from a judiciously toned-down Peter Ellis. Found guilty through the courts, the Ellis camp is running another trial by media ….”

2000-0311 - Dominion - Ellis's lawyer criticises conditions of inquiry
by Alan Samson - Counsel for convicted child abuser Peter Ellis, Judith Ablett Kerr, QC, has criticised a decision to have an inquiry into the Ellis case "that could not summons evidence". The ministerial inquiry, announced yesterday by Justice Minister Phil Goff, will be conducted by former chief justice Sir Thomas Eichelbaum, who is to report back by August 31. The inquiry will consider aspects of the case that the Court of Appeal, in its latest judgment, had indicated were outside its scope and would be better dealt with by an inquiry.

2000-0311 - NZ Herald - Ellis team lukewarm to possibility of pardon 
by Audrey Young - Convicted child-abuser Peter Ellis could be pardoned if former Chief Justice Sir Thomas Eichelbaum decides the evidence children gave was suspect. Sir Thomas will head a one-man inquiry into the case for Justice Minister Phil Goff and report by the end of August. But there was muffled happiness in the Ellis camp yesterday and disappointment that the Government's inquiry was not bigger. Mr Ellis' mother, Lesley Ellis, did not put much store in the development. "I don't have any confidence. After you've been through depositions, a trial, two appeal hearings, why's this one going to be any different?

2000-0311 - The Press - Ellis probe may alter use of child evidence
by Elinore Wellwood - An inquiry that could lead to a pardon for convicted pedophile Peter Ellis could also change the controversial way children's evidence is used in New Zealand sex trials. The ministerial inquiry announced yesterday comes after a rare second Court of Appeal hearing for Mr Ellis and his three petitions for a pardon.

2000-0310 - Government - Media Release
Ministerial Inquiry To Be Held Into Ellis Case - The retired Chief Justice, Sir Thomas Eichelbaum, has been asked to undertake a ministerial inquiry into Mr Peter Ellis's case, Justice Minister Phil Goff announced today.

2000-0310 - Government - Terms of Reference For Inquiry
10 March 2000, Ministerial Inquiry into the Peter Ellis Case

2000-0309 - Usenet - Relationships in case
by David McLoughlin  
Good lord, how more incestuous can this case get?

2000-0306 - Government - Need for counsel at inquiry
by Hon Phil Goff: 
I have given serious consideration to your request that counsel be appointed to assist the families to make submissions on the need for an inquiry.  I do not consider this is necessary

2000-0302 - Otago Daily Times - Commissioners call premature
Justice Minister Phil Goff yesterday dismissed a call for a child advocate in the Peter Ellis inquiry as premature. Mr Goff said there was no decision yet on whether to conduct an inquiry into Ellis' conviction for child abuse or, if there was one, what form it would take.

2000-0302 - The Press - Child Advocate Call Premature
Page 3.
Justice Minister Phil Goff has dismissed a call for a child advocate in the Peter Ellis inquiry as premature

2000-0301 - Commissioner For Children - McClay stands up for crèche children
by Roger McClay; 
“It is of grave concern to me that over the past six and a half years since Ellis's conviction for sexually abusing children, public attention has been focussed almost exclusively on the campaign to clear Ellis' name.

2000-0301 - Usenet - Facts not available to jury
by David McLoughlin,   ”…
the judge and the Crown prosecutor acted seemingly in concert to prevent all those other points, let alone 99.5pc of the evidence, from getting anywhere near the jury. The Court of Appeal backed this travesty of "justice."

2000-0228 - Waikato Times - I'm fighting for children and fathers, says Ellis
Peter Ellis says the fight to clear his name is not just for himself. He says it's for the innocence of the children involved in the Christchurch Civic Creche case; for the rights of New Zealand men to interact freely with children -- and after his 6 1/2 years behind bars, it's now also for justice reform. Ellis, 41, walked free from Paparua Prison this month after being convicted in 1993 on 16 charges of sexually abusing seven children in his care at the Civic Creche.

2000-0228 - Otago Daily Times - Ellis fighting for the children as well
Convicted paedophile Peter Ellis says the fight to clear his name is not just for himself. Rather, it is for the innocence of the children involved in the Christchurch Civic Crèche case; for the rights of New Zealand men to interact freely with children; and after six-and-a-half years behind bars, it is now also for justice reform.

2000-0227 - Television 3: 20/20 - The Ellis Files
Interview of Peter Ellis with Melanie Reid - " Peter Ellis is out, released after almost seven years. Seven years of prison life, labelled a child abuser. Seven years in which controversy has raged about his innocence or his guilt. Ellis's trial - the Christchurch Civic Crèche case - was one of the longest in New Zealand history.

2000-0226 - Otago Daily Times - Inquiry still planned
Meeting the parents of children allegedly abused by convicted paedophile Peter Ellis has not changed Justice Minister Phil Goff's plans to hold an inquiry into the case

2000-0219 - NZ Listener - Ellis in Wonderland 
by Bruce Ansley - There are strong arguments for a commission of inquiry into issues surrounding the conviction of Peter Ellis, with all eyes now on Justice Minister Phil Goff. On the day Peter Ellis emerged from Paparua Prison blinking in the light of a dozen television cameras, the new Justice Minister, Phil Goff, muscled into the drama. Ellis was forced to leave jail, reaching the end of his sentence after refusing the parole that could have implied his guilt. Goff ventured into the scandal unforced, revealing a depth of conviction: there is no political mileage in paedophilia. The question is now, can the minister keep his bottle?

2000-0209 - Otago Daily Times - Ellis book not about reaching conclusions
Publication of a Dunedin author's book on the controversial Peter Ellis child sex abuse case is several months away. Lynley Hood said the book was not about reaching conclusions but an attempt to make sense of apparent contradictions and puzzles surrounding the Ellis case

2000-0208 - North Shore Times Advertiser - I Dont Believe It
Page 6, By Mr Pat Booth, Editor-in-Chief,  “I don't believe it - do you ?”

2000-0205 - Dominion - Ellis faces the outside world with confidence
by Alan Samson - In his first interview since being freed, convicted child abuser Peter Ellis tells Alan Samson he will continue the fight to clear his name.  Peter Hugh McGregor Ellis is surprisingly self-assured for a man facing a news media scrum after spending almost seven years inside. His mother, Lesley, who has tirelessly argued his innocence and fought for his release, has warned that he will be shaking like a leaf.

2000-0205 - Dominion - Ellis inquiry not needed - law lecturer
A senior law lecturer urged Justice Minister Phil Goff yesterday not to hold an inquiry into the case of convicted child abuser Peter Ellis. ...Waikato law lecturer Wendy Ball said the need for an inquiry appeared to have passed. "My thought is, since the Ellis trial, the Law Commission has done a huge amount of work on vulnerable witnesses, and on a new evidence code

2000-0205 - Dominion - Leave the children alone - psychologist
NZPA - A suggestion by Lesley Ellis, mother of convicted child abuser Peter Ellis, that the children at the centre of the case be included in an inquiry has been criticised by an Auckland University psychologist. John Read, senior lecturer in psychology, said Ellis's continued protestations of innocence were further trauma for the families and children involved in the case.

2000-0205 - Radio NZ - Linda Clark with Garry McCormick
Linda Clark gives her views on Ellis:  I  indeed,  well, in fact it's appropriate we're talking about cult status because Peter Ellis is one of those convicted criminals that has a kind of cult status in New Zealand.  There is this sort of fashion at the moment to... in some forms of the media actually... sort of crusading journalists who accept claims of innocence from certain people and Ellis is one of those who has his friends in the media and have put his case very passionately over the last seven years while he's been inside

2000-0204 - NZ Herald - No Ellis inquiry until Justice report: Goff         
Justice Minister Phil Goff yesterday heard the views of Peter Ellis' lawyers but said he would wait for officials' advice before deciding whether an inquiry into the child abuse case should be held. Mr Goff said he found it useful to hear the views of QC Judith Ablett-Kerr, who had asked for the meeting. "Those views are taken on board, just as the views of other people who have written to me about this matter [have been]," Mr Goff said. Mrs Ablett-Kerr, accompanied by junior counsel Greg King, said she was happy with the meeting and wanted to see what options the Ministry of Justice suggested regarding an inquiry into the case.

2000-0204 - Otago Daily Times - Counsel for Ellis meets with Goff
Justice Minister Phil Goff yesterday heard the views of counsel for convicted child abuser Peter Ellis but said he would wait for advice from officials before deciding whether an inquiry into the case should go ahead.

2000-0203 - Waikato Times - Truth, lies and Peter Ellis
Editorial -
Justice Minister Phil Goff yesterday indicated a review of some sort will be held into the way evidence against Ellis was collected. The inquiry is warranted and hopefully will determine whether or not Ellis received a fair trial. But it is unlikely by itself to resolve underlying questions of guilt and innocence. The truth has been muddied both by the passage of time and the controversy and bitterness surrounding the case. That is a burden both for Ellis and for the children who said he preyed upon them.

2000-0203 - Waikato Times - Ellis a 'ticking time bomb'
In one part of Christchurch yesterday a son hugged his mum and vowed to continue a fight to clear his name. But elsewhere a father branded convicted child abuser Peter Ellis a "ticking time bomb". The father of the girl who attended the Christchurch Civic Creche said Ellis' refusal to admit guilt meant he had not been rehabilitated in any way

2000-0203 - Herald - Questions arising from Ellis case
Some cases of criminal justice never come to a satisfactory conclusion. The case of Peter Ellis, released from prison yesterday after serving seven years for child abuse, promises to be one of those cases

2000-0203 - Otago Daily Times - Ellis leaves prison - Goff signals inquiry
Convicted child abuser Peter Ellis walked to freedom yesterday as Justice Minister Phil Goff signalled a new inquiry may be held into the Christchurch Civic Childcare Centre case

2000-0203 - Herald - Ellis free: inquiry promised
by Staff Reporters -
Convicted child sex abuser Peter Ellis left jail yesterday after nearly seven years to news that the Government will hold an inquiry into his controversial case. In a sensational move, Justice Minister Phil Goff said an inquiry was needed to address problems in the evidence presented by children from the Christchurch Civic Crèche.

Peter Ellis fights back tears as he publicly acknowledges his mother's support
Herald, Feb 3, 2000, by Mark Mitchell

2000-0202 - TV3 News - Peter Ellis
Has a monster been released or is an innocent man finally free. Peter Ellis has today been released, at 6.30am. Ellis says he wants everyone to know that the fight to clear his name does not stop

2000-0202 - Otago Daily Times - Plea to not forget Ellis victims
The commissioner for children is urging people not to forget the child victims of convicted child abuser Peter Ellis, who is to be released from prison today

2000-0202 - The Press - Ellis Walks Free
by Martin Van Beynen -
Peter Ellis will today walk from Paparua Prison a free man. The former crèche worker and convicted pedophile may have done his time, but, the controversy over his case may not yet be over

2000-0202 - Government - The Peter Ellis Case
by Minister of Justice,
It is not appropriate at this point for a member of the Executive to consider advising the Governor General to grant a pardon when the court of Appeal has twice concluded there has been no miscarriage of justice

2000-0202 - Waikato Times - Ellis freed - mother appeals to parents
Convicted Christchurch paedophile Peter Ellis walked out of a side door of Paparua Prison today, avoiding waiting reporters and photographers at the main gate of the prison where he has spent more than six years.

2000-0202 - The Press - Remember victims today says McClay
Commissioner for Children Roger McClay has urged people to think of the children involved as convicted child sexual abuser Peter Ellis is freed today

2000-0129 - Waikato Times - Ellis freedom nears
Adjusting to life on the outside will be difficult for soon-to-be released Paparua Prison inmate Peter Ellis, his mother says. Ellis, 41, convicted in 1993 on 16 charges of abusing children in his care at Christchurch Civic Childcare Centre, will be released on Wednesday

2000-0129 - Otago Daily Times - Stressful time likely for Ellis
Adjusting to life on the outside will be difficult for soon-to-be released Paparua Prison inmate Peter Ellis, his mother says

2000-0129 - The Press - Adjusting to Life Outside
by Martin van Beynen  “Adjusting to life outside prison stressful for Ellis”
to life on the outside will be difficult for soon-to-be released Paparua Prison inmate Peter Ellis, his mother says

2000-0125 - Otago Daily Times - Restoring faith in the justice system
The axiom of all legal systems is that justice, "not only be done but be seen to be done". That would seem not to be the public's perception of the Kiwi version

2000-0122 - The Press - Coming out of the dark turning his life around
by Michael Rentoul - In the early 1990s - as Davidson tried to make something of his lacklustre hand - he was falsely accused of child abuse. Davidson was studying law at the University of Canterbury, when a PhD student in sociology accused him of sex abuse by association. Until 1986, Davidson had been married to the head of the Civic childcare centre, Gaye Davidson. One of her employees, Peter Ellis, was convicted of abusing children there. Davidson had minimal contact with the crèche, but that fact was beside the point - he was once married to its head, so that made him guilty.