The Christchurch Civic Crèche Case

News Reports

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This page last updated January 29 2006

2005-0731 - Sunday Star Times - It's about Ellis
by Brian Robinson - The real reason why men are leaving teaching is that there is no commitment to rectifying the injustice done to Peter Ellis. Strict PC rules for men to keep themselves "safe" are no substitute for a willingness by the education and justice systems to understand and condemn false allegations of sexual abuse.

2005-0727 - The Independent - Controversial Causes
new January 29 2006
by Chris Trotter -  [Brash's] brave gesture towards Peter Ellis shows where his moral sensibilities would guide him, given the chance. But they will not be given the chance - not if Murray McCully and Richard Long can help it. They are old hands at this political game and they know the number of votes available for decency is strictly limited.

2005-0727 - Otago Daily Times - Ellis offer meets demands
by Lynley Hood - The petition initiated by Dr Don Brash in 2003 called for “a Royal Commission of Inquiry presided over by a judge or judges from overseas” (which is exactly what QC Judith Ablett Kerr wants)

2005-0726 - NZ Herald - The Ellis case
by Brian Robinson - The National Party should be congratulated for being the only party to recognise that the basis of a justice system lies in upholding the rights of an individual. I applaud their commitment to setting up an appropriate inquiry into the Christchurch Creche case and the circumstances of the unfortunate conviction of Peter Ellis

2005-0723 - Stuff - Brash unable to give details of Ellis case inquiry
Don Brash

Cartoon by Murray WebbNZPA - Dunedin author Lynley Hood is not concerned about a lack of detail in a National Party promise of an inquiry into the case of Peter Ellis.    ….. A spokeswoman said yesterday he was "not in a position to elaborate on the form any inquiry would take". She said Dr Brash had not had the opportunity to take advice, or discuss the matter with his caucus colleagues.

Don Brash
Cartoon by Murray Webb

2005-0722 - NZ Herald - Ellis lawyer wants full Commission of Inquiry
NZPA - The lawyer for convicted sex offender Peter Ellis says any inquiry into the Civic Creche case must take the form of a full Commission of Inquiry. National leader Don Brash made the promise of an inquiry last week in an email to Christchurch-based Ellis supporter, music tutor Richard Christie. However he did not specify what kind of inquiry National would support and then the party's justice spokesman Richard Worth suggested it could be one undertaken by an overseas judge. But Ellis' lawyer Judith Ablett-Kerr today said that would not be enough

2005-0722 - Dominion Post - Ellis lawyer criticises creche inquiry
by Rebecca Palmer - A promised inquiry into the Peter Ellis civic creche case under a National-led government will be a waste of money unless it is a commission of inquiry, Mr Ellis' lawyer says…….. But Mrs Ablett-Kerr said any inquiry should have the powers of a commission: "The power to summons witnesses and compel evidence to be given is a vital part of any satisfactory inquiry into the Ellis case."  The ministerial inquiry ordered by Justice Minister Phil Goff and led by former chief justice Sir Thomas Eichelbaum in 2000 did not have those powers, she said. "It would be futile to merely repeat that same exercise."

2005-0721 - kiwiblog - Justice for Ellis?
David Farrarby David Farrar - I was delighted when in 2003 Katherine Rich and Don Brash started a petition calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the case. I went along to the press conference. And now I am even more delighted that Dr Brash has said that should he become Prime Minister, there will be a full inquiry into the Ellis case. We need this inquiry - not just for Peter Ellis, but to restore confidence to NZers in the justice system.

David Farrar


2005-0721 - NZ Herald - National pledges inquiry into Peter Ellis sex abuse case
Don BrashNZPA - The National Party will order an inquiry into the Peter Ellis civic creche case if elected to Government, leader Don Brash has pledged. Dr Brash made the promise in an email to Christchurch-based Ellis supporter, music tutor Richard Christie……. Dr Brash did not specify what form an inquiry under a National government would take, but his justice spokesman, Richard Worth, offered one possibility.  Mr Worth said an option was to have an overseas judge review the history of events and evidence, with the authority to order the Government to issue a pardon and make reparations.

2005-0720 - The Press - Brash promises Ellis inquiry
by Kim Thomas - The National Party will order an inquiry into the Peter Ellis civic creche case if elected to Government, leader Don Brash has announced. Brash made the promise last week in an email to Christchurch-based Ellis supporter, music tutor Richard Christie. Brash told Christie "if National is successful in forming a government after the election, I do intend that there be a full inquiry into the circumstances of Peter Ellis's conviction".

2005-0719 - The Press - Too hard?
by Nancy Sutherland - There are still burning issues over the 1992 Civic Creche case.A 2002 survey showed over 50 per cent believed Peter Ellis was innocent. Only 25% believed he was guilty. This reflected public rejection of decisions about the case made in the justice system. Of course evidence is what’s important, not numbers, but individuals conscientiously make their evaluations, and do so with all known matters in mind.

2005-0704 - The Press - Justice delayed
by G Mutch - It is fair to say that if Justice Minister Phil Goff hadn't come out and publicly supported the Eichelbaum report Mr Ellis's chances of an appropriate inquiry would be that much greater. But probably more of an obstacle for Mr Ellis is that his innocence is common knowledge, with the Government perhaps feeling that the matter thus has little urgency.

2005-0702 - The Press - Another Christchurch Panic Brewing
by Lynley Hood - Martin van Beynen (June 25) notes, "Ritual abuse by an organised ring became an underlying theme in the prosecution of Peter Ellis". As it happens, ritual abuse by an organised ring is an underlying theme in Christchurch's latest mass-allegation case. Allegations against the St John of God brothers who ran Marylands Special School erupted in June 2002. ….Ken Clearwater….told the Southland Times that the alleged victims had endured years of ritualistic sexual torture.

2005-0702 - The Press - Cases different
by Richard Christie - Whatever possessed the writer of your editorial (June 29) to associate the case of Peter Ellis with the Fahey and Capill cases? ........ Fahey and Capill both pleaded guilty to sexual violation. Ellis and his colleagues weathered the maelstrom of a fully fledged satanic ritual abuse witch-hunt and a highly suspect police investigation.

2005-0629 - The Press - A gross betrayal
Editorial - After the Fahey and Peter Ellis trials, [Capill's] offending might also cause some to worry why the city appears to so often have high-profile cases of sexual offending.

2005-0627 - - Congratulations to Martin van Beynen
This site wishes to stress and acknowledge the high standard and integrity of all of Martin van Beynen's reporting during the time of the Christchurch Crèche controversy, including the early reporting of information that this site strongly disagrees with and that Martin has since acknowledged as mistaken…. To be mistaken is human. To acknowledge such mistakes openly is what makes Martin van Beynen a remarkable man.

2005-0625 - The Press - Mist of ritual child abuse reappears
by Martin van Beynen - I'm sensitive to this sort of stuff because I wrote one of these sorts of articles in 1991, during a sad period in Christchurch's history when a mist of unreasoning belief in sadistic and organised child kidnapping and abuse seemed to descend on the city.  Covering the Family Violence Conference in September of that year, I interviewed specialists in the field of ritual abuse in New Zealand. Two Wellington counsellors, Jocelyn Frandes and Ann-Marie Stapp, talked of having interviewed three people who had survived horrific satanic rituals undergone from an early age.

2005-0527 - NZ Herald - New law raises Ellis questions
by Helen Tunnah - Strict limits will be imposed on opinions psychologists can offer in child sex abuse cases in a wide-ranging overhaul of evidence laws. The Government's decision to restrict expert evidence has again raised questions around the safety of the Peter Ellis abuse convictions, and was welcomed by his lawyer Judith Ablett Kerr, QC.

2005-0527 - NZ Herald - All National candidates to be on list
by Ruth Berry - Prominent QC Judith Ablett Kerr opted not to stand (for Parliament)

2005-0512 - - The Burden of Proof
Review Article by Anthony Frith - Ellis has waited nearly two years for a select committee to decide whether to recommend a Royal Commission of Inquiry into his 1992 conviction of multiple counts of child abuse. His case is almost unanimously regarded as the greatest miscarriage of justice this country has seen since Arthur Allan Thomas. Peter Ellis has been waiting a long, long time for justice, and at the rate things are going, time may be running out.

2005-0420 - Otago Daily Times - Barrister silent on career change

Judith ABlett-Kerr
Otago Daily Times
April 20 2005by Dene Mackenzie - High profile Dunedin barrister Judith Ablett-Kerr QC may be considering a career change to a National Party MP by securing a top place on the party list.

Mrs Ablett-Kerr, speaking from Wellington yesterday, said she was in no position to comment on the speculation she might become a National Party list-only candidate

2005-0420 - The Press - QC tipped to bolster Nats' list
Judith Ablett Kerr
The Dominion Post
April 20 2005by Colin Espiner - Neither Ablett-Kerr nor National would confirm speculation yesterday that the 58-year-old high-profile criminal defence lawyer has been selected for a high place on the party list…….. A spokesman for Justice Minister Phil Goff said the Minister had no problem with Ablett-Kerr standing for National……"She's got a bee in her bonnet about Ellis but she defended him. I'd be reluctant to criticise her for that."

2005-0419 - One News - Nats close to signing QC
The National Party is close to signing up high-profile Queen's Counsel Judith Ablett-Kerr as a list candidate for the election

2005-0419 - David Farrar Blog - Judith Ablett-Kerr tipped as National candidate
by David Farrar - Radio NZ is speculating that high-profile Queen's Counsel Judith Ablett-Kerr will be a list-only candidate for National this year.  

Comment by Adolf Fiinkensein: Mrs Ablett-Kerr is one of my modern-day heroines. I always felt that Peter Ellis was convicted by political correctness and contrived evidence

Comment by Michael: I think the Ellis case could be a way for the Nats to win votes off disillusioned liberals who are disgusted with Phil Goff's inaction on this case. By all means, punish the guilty but let's at least have a justice system that gives the accused a fair trial.

2005-0406 - The Press - A City Shamed
by John Blumsky, Waikuku - Ellis’s inability to gain justice since his Civic Creche conviction some 10 years ago has sapped his resolve……..That all politicians have surrendered their integrity to an apathetic electorate is unconscionable. But perhaps more apt would be that Hood’s book A City Possessed should be retitled A City Shamed

2005-0404 - Otago Daily Times - Stress blamed for Ellis' heart attack
NZPA - Christchurch Central MP Tim Barnett, who heads the select committee looking into the Civic Creche case, has defended the 21 months so far taken to weigh the call for an inquiry. Ellis (47) suffered chest pains while at home in North Canterbury on Thursday night. Ash-grey and requiring oxygen, he was rushed by ambulance to Christchurch Hospital. He remained seriously ill last night.

2005-0404 - NZ Herald - Case review blamed for Ellis' heart attack
NZPA - Stress over a bid to quash child abuse convictions is likely to have contributed to convicted paedophile Peter Ellis' heart attack, his mother says……. Mrs Ellis believed politicians added to her son's already serious health problems by drawing out the decision on a commission of inquiry.

2005-0404 - The Press - Ellis inquiry delay 'helped cause heart attack'
by Matt Conway - Stress over a bid to quash child-abuse convictions is likely to have contributed to Peter Ellis's heart attack, his mother says. But Christchurch Central MP Tim Barnett, who heads the select committee looking into the Civic Creche case, has defended the 21 months so far taken to weigh the call for an inquiry. …..Last night Ellis remained seriously ill in the coronary care unit.

2005-0403 - NZ Herald on Sunday - Ellis heart attack was "stress-related"
by David Fisher - Peter Ellis has suffered a heart attack, sparking accusations it was brought on by Government delays in deciding on a commission of inquiry into the Christchurch creche case. Last night, his mother Leslie Ellis said Mr Ellis, 47, said to her on Thursday night : "Mum, I think I'm having a heart attack."……"He is hopelessly stressed out," Lesley Ellis said. "The jolly select committee can't get around to producing its findings."