The Christchurch Civic Crèche Case

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This page last updated July 24 2006



2005-1200 - Bell Gully Law - BSA:  RNZ v Peter Ellis
The High Court has recently considered the ambit of the Broadcasting Standards Authority's jurisdiction to order a broadcaster to apologise when it has breached the Codes of Broadcasting Practice. The Court also considered the BSA's obligation to comply with natural justice when imposing sanctions on broadcasters for breaches of the Code

2005-1200 - Aust-NZ Law & History Society - Peter Ellis
Abstract of paper by Lynley Hood - This paper examines recent changes in New Zealand laws and procedures for the investigation and prosecution of sexual offences that have transformed child molestation into crimen exceptum, with particular reference to the Ellis case

2005-1124 - peterellis.org - Ending Violence - Black and White Ribbons
The PeterEllis web site www.peterellis.org.nz has long highlighted the existing epidemic of false allegations of sexual abuse that should concern all New Zealanders. News reports say that police have charged 290 people, mainly women, with this offence in just the last year. The actual number of perpetrators may be expected to be considerably larger, with devastating consequences for their victims

2005-0916 - West Coast Times - Radio NZ's Peter Ellis appeal dismissed
Radio New Zealand has lost an appeal against a Broadcasting Standards Authority ruling that it apologise to convicted child molester Peter Ellis….. Radio NZ accepted the finding that the story lacked fairness and balance but objected to the order to say sorry.

2005-0916 - Otago Daily Times - Radio NZ loses Ellis apology appeal
Radio New Zealand has lost an appeal against a Broadcasting Standards Authority ruling that it apologise to convicted child molester Peter Ellis.

2005-0916 - NZ Herald - RNZ must say sorry to Ellis
Radio New Zealand has lost an appeal against a Broadcasting Standards Authority ruling that it apologise to convicted child molester Peter Ellis…… The order for an apology and publication of a summary of the authority's decision in four major daily newspapers was the result of finding that National Radio's Nine to Noon programme in August 2003 was not fair and balanced. A man interviewed on the programme had made new allegations against Mr Ellis.

2005-0916 - Dominion Post - RNZ loses apology appeal
Radio New Zealand has lost an appeal against a Broadcasting Standards Authority ruling that it say sorry to convicted child molester Peter Ellis. The broadcaster appealed against the ruling, saying that to be ordered to say sorry, when it was not, amounted to dishonesty.

2005-0908 - News Room - Peter Ellis to appeal to Privy Council
The lawyer representing the convicted child abuser, Peter Ellis, says her client will appeal to the Privy Council regardless of whether the Solicitor General supports or opposes the application. …….Mr Ellis's lawyer, Judith Ablett-Kerr…..says Mr Ellis's legal team plans to draft a petition within a month at their own expense and expect the Privy Council hearing will start next year.

2005-0908 - Dominion Post - Radio NZ resists order to apologise
Radio NZ is contesting a Broadcasting Standards Authority ruling that it say sorry to convicted child molester Peter Ellis. Radio NZ's lawyer, Peter McKnight, said yesterday that an apology was a voluntary expression of contrition and to order Radio NZ to say sorry to Mr Ellis, when it was not, amounted to dishonesty.

2005-0908 - The Press - RNZ: no Ellis apology
Radio NZ is contesting a Broadcasting Standards Authority ruling that it say sorry to convicted child molester Peter Ellis……. The order for an apology, and publication of a summary of the authority's decision in major newspapers, was the result of a finding that an August 2003 programme was not fair and balanced.

2005-0907 - The Press - Truth starts to bite
by Nancy Sutherland - At the bottom of Tighe Instone's go at critics of the Ellis case (August 25) is not shoddy research by Lynley Hood, but the truth starting to bite. This is clear from the select committee's recommendations for Privy Council referral, a criminal cases review body, attention to legal aid quality and accessibility and reviewed practices over evidence and psychological expertise. It is also clear from National promising an inquiry

2005-0906 - Newstalk ZB - "Serious" concerns over Ellis appeal
The lawyer representing convicted sex offender Peter Ellis is describing actions being taken by the Solicitor General as serious and disturbing .The Solicitor General has responded to a letter written by Judith Ablett-Kerr, after a parliamentary select committee cleared the way for him to appeal his conviction to the Privy Council.

2005-0906 - Otago Daily Times - Another setback for Ellis supporters
by Rebecca Fox - The case of convicted sex abuser Peter Ellis has hit another setback as the solicitor general “defies“ parliamentary select committee recommendations, his lawyer Judith Ablett-Kerr QC, of Dunedin, says.

2005-0906 - The Press - Ellis fails to win support as appeals complaint raised
by Joanna Davis - A complaint about the Solicitor-General's attitude to a parliamentary select committee recommendation on Peter Ellis's appeal has failed to get backing from the committee's chairman. The justice and electoral select committee recommended last month that the Attorney-General not oppose a bid by Ellis to appeal to the Privy Council

2005-0906 - Dominion Post - Ellis findings 'defied'
The solicitor-general is defying a select committee call for the Peter Ellis child abuse case to be fast-tracked to the Privy Council, the former childcare worker's lawyer says. Judith Ablett-Kerr, QC, said last night she had received a letter from the solicitor-general saying an application for leave to appeal to the Privy Council would be treated the same as any other and legal aid was not being approved.

2005-0906 - The Press - Not proof
by Tighe Instone - I'd like to point out to R. Christie (Sept 2) that "dozens of overwhelmingly positive reviews" are not proof that Lynley Hood's theory about a witch hunt, driven by feminists and culminating in the Christchurch Civic Creche case, is necessarily correct.

2005-0905 - The Press - Strange letter
by Jonathon Harper - What a strange letter from Tighe Instone. She says that I was "employing that particular book" (A City Possessed, by Lynley Hood) to support my published assertion that Peter Ellis was a victim of hysteria. I quoted directly from Hood's recent statements, not her book

2005-0902 - The Press - Minority Support
by R Christie - Ms Instone's prominently placed letter (August 25) based its arguments on the views expressed in one of only two negative - out of dozens of overwhelmingly positive - reviews of Lynley Hood's A City Possessed, the other negative being that of Val Sim, legal adviser to Phil Goff

2005-0902 - The Press - Justice shake-up call
by Bernard Robertson - Whoever the next government is, it will have to face up to some immediate problems in law and justice, and then deal with some longer-term problems as well. The first challenge is the question of an inquiry into not only the Peter Ellis case but also every case in the last 16 years in which evidence has been given by psychologists under section 23G(2)(c) of the Evidence Act

2005-0831 - Dominion Post - Peter Ellis
by Alan Wilkinson - So long now after those sadly mismanaged events in Christchurch there is little chance of proving to everyone's satisfaction what happened. The best that can be done is to recognise that the convictions were wholly unsafe because of the lack of any physical evidence whatsoever, the reliance by the court on very young children's evidence obtained in ways that would be inadmissible and unacceptable today…..

2005-0825 - The Press - In a few words
by Dorothea Herron - Maybe The Press could be slightly kinder to Peter Ellis and not refer to him as “convicted paedophile”. Give him a break – his life is ruined.

2005-0825 - The Press - Ellis verdict critics on weak ground
by Tighe Instone - I cannot say definitively that Peter Ellis is innocent or guilty of the crimes he has been convicted of but neither can Jonathon Harper, Martin van Beynen or Lynley Hood. Only Ellis and the children can do that. Harper believes that Ellis and others are "victims of hysteria" and van Beynen refers to "the formidable Lynley Hood" and her "meticulous book"

2005-0822 - Dominion Post - Here's the real witch hunt
by Linley Boniface - Ellis' case has so far been through a jury trial, two high court appeals, a ministerial inquiry and, most recently, a parliamentary inquiry. He has been given an extraordinarily fair deal by the justice system. But Tom and Katrina, and the other children Ellis is convicted of abusing? They've been mocked, slandered, dismissed, ridiculed, and stripped of their right to speak. Now that's what I call a witch hunt.

2005-0820 - The Press - Justice dealt Ellis a grave disservice
by Martin van Beynen - Ellis is fortunate to have people like the formidable Lynley Hood, who wrote a meticulous book on the case, called A City Possessed, on his side. In a way, Hood's book was the commission of inquiry so long sought. Unfortunately, it was weakened by a tone of such outrage that you had to wonder if Hood was being fair. But the creche case will always excite strong views and it is extremely difficult to remain objective and impartial. That doesn't help Peter Ellis

Peter Ellis

 



2005-0818 - John Monro Blog - Comment on the Justice and Electoral Committee Report
by John Monro - While this is very disappointing, the committee have admitted that there are many aspects of the Peter Ellis trial with which they are uncomfortable, and have made quite a number of recommendations because of these concerns. It is a shame that the logical conclusion of these concerns, the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry, was not then forthcoming.

2005-0817 - The Press - Ellis faces long wait for justice
by Jonathon Harper - The select committee report into the Christchurch civic creche case is just another stop in a slow train for justice.   Undoubtedly it will be at least a few more years before a full and proper examination of this bizarre case will settle the widespread disquiet surrounding Ellis and other victims of hysteria in New Zealand.



(From left)
Don Brash        promising an inquiry
Tim Barnett      review committee options
Lynley Hood     wants royal commission

Peter Ellis:  Most commentators say a Privy Council appeal would be unlikely to succeed.  Photos: Kirk Hargreaves

2005-0815 - Dominion Post - A lingering casualty
by Anthony Frith - Parliament's Justice and Electoral Commission committee, in being asked to consider a commission of inquiry into the conviction of Peter Ellis for child molestation, has recommended everything but. While rejecting that bid, it has nonetheless produced an overwhelming raft of recommendations for changes to legislation amounting to a clear admission that, in cases where the sexual abuse of children is alleged, the justice system stacks the odds against the defendant, turning trials into inquisitions

2005-0813 - Otago Daily Times - Ellis faces anxious wait on recommendations
by Stu Oldham - Convicted sex abuser Peter Ellis faces an anxious wait as Solicitor-general Terence Arnold QC considers recommendations that could clear the way for an appeal to the Privy Council. Dunedin lawyer Judith Ablett-Kerr QC has asked Attorney-general Michael Cullen whether he would act upon a justice and electoral select committee recommendation not to oppose Mr Ellis’ application for leave to appeal.

2005-0813 - The Press - Anxious wait for Ellis
NZPA - Convicted sex abuser Peter Ellis faces an anxious wait as Solicitor-General Terence Arnold considers recommendations that could clear the way for an appeal to the Privy Council. Dunedin lawyer Judith Ablett-Kerr, QC, has asked Attorney-General Michael Cullen whether he would act upon a justice and electoral select committee recommendation not to oppose Ellis's application for leave to appeal

2005-0813 - NZ Herald - Lawyer pushes for Ellis Privy Council appeal
NZPA - The lawyer for convicted childcare worker Peter Ellis has asked Attorney-General Michael Cullen whether he will accept a parliamentary recommendation that the way be cleared for Ellis to appeal to the Privy Council. …… The committee rejected a requested royal commission but recommended the Attorney-General not oppose Ellis' new application for leave to appeal to the Privy Council

2005-0812 - Otago Daily Times - Decision compounds failure of criminal justice system

by Chris Trotter - There is something truly horrifying about this failure of our judicial system. Not only did it condemn a man whose guilt was in more than reasonable doubt to 10 years in prison, but it conferred upon Peter Ellis’s accusers an undeserved and entirely spurious credibility. The groups responsible for the "witch craze" that we know as the Christchurch Civic Creche child abuse scandal: all those "ritual abuse" peddlers, "recovered memory" counsellors, "all men are rapists" feminists, "children never lie" social workers and "Satan is among us" Christian fundamentalists, have never been called to account.

2005-0812 - peterellis.org - Eichelbaum report flaky
by Nancy Sutherland - The Minister of Justice Phil Goff has so far upheld the report by Sir Thomas Eichelbaum, of February 2001, over the safety of the convictions against Peter Ellis, as the last word in the long-running saga of the Christchurch Civic ‘crèche’ case. Despite this the Justice and Electoral Select Committee has not accepted this entirely and has made new recommendations

2005-0810 - Tim Barnett Blog - Select Committee reports
by Tim Barnett -
Peter Ellis' guilt? - We pressured for a new appeal route to be opened up to him
The use of childrens evidence? - Amend the Evidence Bill
Access to a trial lawyer of choice? - Look at availability of legal aid
Concern at the outdated methods of examining alleged miscarriages of justice?  - Set up an equivalent to the UKs Criminal Cases Review Authority
I am proud of this report. It was criticised from all sides. I am sure that I sound like a dumbarse politician when I say that suggests we may just have got it right?

2005-0815 - Tim Barnett Blog - History will be the judge
New July 24 2006
by Richard Christie - The Privy Council option owes nothing to your committee. It's a poison chalice. The PC will only look at previously examined material (severely limited in ambit) perhaps with the exception of changes to the s23G evidence act. Your timing in regard to the delivery report is craven. I wish you could read my lips: History will be the judge of your ethics in this effort.

2005-0815 - Tim Barnett Blog - Avoided the main issue
New July 24 2006
by Bill Wright - You have avoided the main issue in the case, namely that apart from evidence that Peter Ellis worked at the Creche, no other credible evidence was adduced at the trial. There was no tangible evidence of soiling or damage to clothing or person following the alleged scatological incidents, no clinical evidence of the physical injury that might be expected from the activities alleged, no corroboration. There was much to suggest that opportunity never existed and that the bizarre activities alleged, had they occurred, could not have remained undetected

2005-0815 - Tim Barnett Blog - The meat of the issues
New July 23 2006
by Nancy Sutherland - you have only set up a relay of delay processes that don't strongly enough suggest exactly how any political input could work to address the meat of the issues in the Civic case. One main one being the polarisation amongst psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists over issues around ‘evidence’ and how this deleteriously infiltrated agencies and authorities including police (and still does).

2005-0823 - Tim Barnett Blog - Responses to this blog are interesting
New July 24 2006
by Tim Barnett - The responses to this blog are, to say the least, interesting. Many come from people who have puts skills and energy into the fight around this case, yet few understand the constraints which Select Committees are under, nor the careful way in which we designed the recommendations

2005-0825 - Tim Barnett Blog - Commission of Inquiry
New July 24 2006
by Ross Francis - The Justice Ministry has said that a commission will probably not get to the truth and is unlikely to satisfy public doubts. Nonsense. A commission of inquiry could hear expert testimony from the likes of Bruck, Ceci, Loftus, Poole, etc. If such experts testified that the children's testimony was contaminated to the point of unreliability, that the interviewing techniques did not employ scientific principles and were not forensic, that the case had similarities with many other mass allegation creche cases of the 80s, would that not be significant?

2005-0825 - Tim Barnett Blog - Officials in Justice Department
New July 24 2006
by Nancy Sutherland - It would appear that some officials in the justice dept, a dept which has been highly associated with matters worked to prevent the resolution of this case so far (including by omission of the Thorp report from the reference materials for the Eichelbaum inquiry - it has a different line of approach in psychological terms than the prevailing orthodoxy does), would be against a Royal Commission. If so, the reason that the committee came to this conclusion, too, can be assumed.


2005-0810 - Timaru Herald - Case will not die
Editorial - There will never be universal finality in the Peter Ellis child molestation case. And more likely than not, the perceived injustice will ultimately rest with Ellis and his supporters………. All of which suggests the committee is having a dollar each way, and while the playing field may be improved for others facing child molestation charges, that won't benefit Peter Ellis

2005-0810 - Otago Daily Times - Peter Ellis findings a ‘cop out’
A high profile group of Christchurch lawyers has slammed parliamentary findings into the Peter Ellis Civic Creche case.  Christchurch lawyer David Ruth, spokesman for legal advocacy group Just Cause, said the response of the justice and electoral select committee to a petition calling for an inquiry into the historic sexual abuse case was a “cop-out”.

2005-0810 - The Press - Lawyers label Ellis report a 'cop-out'
David Ruth
Christchurch lawyer, David Ruth


A high-profile group of Christchurch lawyers has slammed parliamentary findings into the Peter Ellis civic creche case. Christchurch lawyer David Ruth, spokesman for legal advocacy group Just Cause, said the response of the justice and electoral select committee to a petition calling for an inquiry into the sexual-abuse case was a "cop-out"