The Christchurch Civic Crèche Case

News Reports

2001 Jan-June

New Zealand Herald
March 13, 2001

Ellis vows to keep fighting despite pardon refusal

Peter Ellis and his supporters have vowed to continue the battle to clear his name of child abuse convictions in spite of the refusal to grant him a pardon.

"I will not walk away to make it easier for other people," he said from Dunedin after the Minister of Justice Phil Goff announced that the pardon bid had been declined.

Ellis was convicted in 1993 on 13 charges of sexually abusing children in his care at the Christchurch Civic Crèche.

He served two thirds of a ten year jail term for the conviction, but maintained his innocence throughout.

From Dunedin, Mr Ellis said that putting the case back into the too hard basket because it was politically inconvenient was not what true justice was about.

"I know it is convenient for others for my case to be closed, but I am an innocent man, and walking away from the Civic Crèche case because it is convenient, leaves me still a guilty man. If I did that, the Civic Crèche case will be just one more high profile case in NZ not answered to the public's satisfaction.

Mr Ellis’ lawyer Judith Ablett Kerr called on the Minister to acknowledge that the Ministerial Inquiry had been too narrow and that the inquiry should now be widened.

Spokesperson for children involved in the case, Wendy Ball said the result was another vindication of the children's testimony. "The public perception must alter after this."

She said the children should now be left in peace to heal out of the limelight.