The Christchurch Civic Crèche Case

News Reports

2001 Jan-June

Otago Daily Times
January 16, 2001

Withdrawn Ellis book still listed

Christchurch: Canterbury University Press is still promoting a book on the controversial Peter Ellis child-sex case that it is no longer publishing after a fallout with the author.

The publisher's web site lists Dunedin author Lynley Hood's latest book, A City Possessed , among its new titles and allows readers to pre-order copies.

The listing continues despite Canterbury University Press saying before Christmas the book was about to be removed from the web site

Ms Hood confirmed in November that her book contract with the publisher had been terminated. the publisher said at the time Ms Hood's manuscript exceeded the length stipulated in her contract and she would not agree to cuts.

Ms Hood said she was astonished the publisher continued to list her book.

The publisher's managing editor, Mike Bradstock, said in late December negotiations over the contract's termination were still being concluded.

He said the book was about to be taken off the web site and the publisher was not taking any pre-orders.

"It's been a painful business for all concerned."

A University Press employee could not explain why the book was still listed this year.

The New Zealand Society of Authors has complained to the University of Canterbury about the publisher's continued promotion of the Hood book.

"They are advertising a book they have no intention of publishing. It's odd, as well as misleading," said the society's national president Joan Rosier-Jones.

"This is a very important book and Ms Hood is a well-respected and important writer."

Ms Hood said several other publishers have been interested in taking up her book.

Ellis was convicted in 1993 of abusing children in his care at Christchurch's Civic Childcare Centre.

He was released last February after serving two-thirds of a 10-year sentence. Retired Chief Justice Sir Thomas Eichelbaum is investigating aspects of the Ellis case.