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December 15 2008; 11:00

Call for Power to launch inquiry into Peter Ellis case
David Farrar

The Press reports that Justice Minister Simon Power has been urged by his former colleagues Katherine Rich and Don Brash (and author Lynley Hood) to launch a commission of inquiry into the Peter Ellis case.

They ask Power to consider appointing an Australian judge to reconsider the case, believing it would be difficult for a New Zealand judge to approach it without prior knowledge or involvement.

The trio also ask that a judge be given the power to recommend a pardon for Ellis if he or she found that a miscarriage of justice had occurred.

Rich said an inquiry into the Ellis case was essential. “Two former prime ministers, 12 law professors, 10 Queen’s Counsel and thousands of other petitioners have already expressed their concerns. This case will not go away until a final review is done.”

Phil Goff expressed support for an inquiry in Opposition, but did little in Government but rubberstamp what the Ministry of Justice advised. This is a real opportunity for Simon Power to show some leadership.

I am not normally a sceptic of juries finding people guilty. I think they got it right with Watson, Bain, Lundy, that antiques dealer etc etc. In fact normally I think juries find too many people not guilty.

But with Peter Ellis, I am aghast at how he was found guilty. I have read many many articles and the Hood book on the case, and each time I am staggered at how flawed the process was.

Simon Power has a great opportunity to restore faith in the justice system. I hope he takes it up.






By bigbruv, 11:14

Yep, hold an inquiry, when Ellis is found to be innocent and paid a small fortune (as he should) then they should turn on the bastards who started and continued this witch hunt, it is time these feminist/socialist maggots were exposed.




By gingercrush, 11:22

Also agree there has to be a proper inquiry.




By enough rope, 11:27

Long overdue. Big kudos to Rich and Brash. As they appear to have nothing to gain from this personally they show themselves to be principled people. I’d be astounded if Power doesn’t make it a priority




By Baxter, 11:29

I fail to see how a Commission comprising an Australian Judge can restore faith in the NZ Justice system by possibly coming to a different conclusion to that of a former NZ Chief Justice. The fact that legal academics and and sundry politicians disagree mainly on the basis of reading a book is also of little account. If a Juries assessment of the facts presented is to be overturned by a Commission 16 years later then I would suggest it would be in order and more beneficial to Justice to re-assess the verdict in the Chris Kahui case

[DPF: The Chief Justice had a narrow brief, not the powers of a full Commission of Inquiry]




By Brian Smaller 11:33

I am wondering why the Police still aren’t looking for that murdered child all the child witnesses spoke about.

Seriously, this whole case was and is a joke. Some of the families received tens of thousands fo dollars of ACC money for each “instance” of abuse. It was a money making scam right from the start in my opinion.




By PhilBest, 11:34

DPF: “……But with Peter Ellis, I am aghast at how he was found guilty. I have read many many articles and the Hood book on the case, and each time I am staggered at how flawed the process was…..”

Well called, DPF. You are exactly representative of decent middle NZ on this.

And big bruv: “… is time these feminist/socialist maggots were exposed…..”

That is indeed a disturbing aspect of this case; exactly how much clout has “the sisterhood” achieved when it comes to family law and sexual assault accusations and the like, where there is opportunity for man-hatred to overwhelm justice? D4J?




By GD 11:54

The Ellis case was at the time a victory for the screeching sisterhood after 20 years of manipulating and poisoning society against men. Now nearly another 20 years on we not only need an international independent Commission to examine the Ellis case it also needs to examine the part Clark Wilson Dyson Street et al played not only in this case but in their venal attacks on men.

Time to face to music for the feminazis and be shown as the evil force of hatred they really are




By MarkS 11:54

I think that there is a wider need for an Innocence project, like there is in other countries. The sending of an innocent person to gaol is abhorrent, especially for the worst crimes. The Ellis case is but one example of a case that would benefit from such a project. There isn’t sufficient interest from the various institutions (MOJ, Police) to correct injustice when it occurs, so an independent body should be able to look into those cases where significant doubt exists over convictions.




By Owen McShane, 12:01

Not before time.

It is worth remembering that this case only happened because of the widespread world wide hysteria about Satanic rituals at the time.

Who hears about Satanic rituals now?

We now have a similar hysteria about Global warming which soon too will be forgotten.




By toad, 12:09

big bruv said: …they should turn on the bastards who started and continued this witch hunt, it is time these feminist/socialist maggots were exposed.

bruv, I can assure you there are rather a lot of feminists and socialists - and a good number of Greens, including me - who feel very uncomfortable about Peter Ellis’ conviction.

Ranting on about “the screeching sisterhood”, “femonazis”, “man-hatred” etc, as some commenters are on this thread doesn’t actually help. It is that type of bigotry (”gay men are child molesters”) that probably helped convict Peter Ellis in the first place.




By FE Smith 12:21

“I fail to see how a Commission comprising an Australian Judge can restore faith in the NZ Justice system”

It helped in the Crewe murders inquiry, and that after two juries had found Arthur Thomas guilty.

“by possibly coming to a different conclusion to that of a former NZ Chief Justice”

Like DPF said, the remit of that inquiry was so tight that there was only ever one answer going to be given. Don’t forget the ‘guidance’ provided by Val Sim, now a Law Commissioner, and the Crown Law counsel who said that the EFA was not inconsistent with the NZ Bill of Rights Act!

“The fact that legal academics and and sundry politicians disagree mainly on the basis of reading a book is also of little account.”

But many in the legal community disagree with it based on a pretty good knowledge of the case. This case is seriously flawed and I can say with some confidence that the result would be different if it were being tried for the first time today.

“If a Juries assessment of the facts presented is to be overturned by a Commission 16 years later then I would suggest it would be in order and more beneficial to Justice to re-assess the verdict in the Chris Kahui case”

I have sitting next to me the Report of the Royal Commission on the murders of David and Jeanette Crewe. As I said, that inquiry came after Thomas had served some 9 years in prison and had two murder trials, both ending in guilty verdicts. Yet I would venture to say that most of New Zealand thinks the report is correct in its findings. We should never be frightened to look at the safety of convictions, even after many years, if the evidence fails to stack up.




By big bruv, 12:25


Bigotry is indeed what convicted Ellis but you cannot brush off the evil nature of that bigotry so easily just because it happened to come from the man hating side of the feminist movement.
Those bastards wanted to “get men”, I imagine it would have been better for them had it been a heterosexual male but they realised they were not in a position to choose so Ellis just happened to be the poor sod they picked on.

Evil has many faces Toad and we should not forgive or forget evil just because it was done in the name of the feminist movement, the maggots behind this should be locked up for a very long time.




By llew, 12:30

If nothing else Ellis was guilty of having a penis.

Thats enough to some.




By artemisia, 12:32

It’s a while since I read Lynley Hood’s book, but I recall she details considerable manipulation of what evidence was allowed to be presented to the court. For example by withdrawing complainants with more fanciful stories. The book is well worth a read, some of it was just hilarious. Like the police climbing up on a kitchen bench then through the (very dusty) ceiling space to another room in the building to demonstrate it could have happened. I feel a Tui ad coming on …




By Viking2, 12:33

Was told just a couple of weeks ago by a person close to the case that it was driven by the Lesbian satanics.
It was always an unsafe verdict and there are members and former members of the police who are implicated inthe misuse of evidence. Which brings me to the Watson case. DPF, its clear that you must have never looked at the evidence nor the mind bending of the information enacted by Pope. Have a good read over Xmas of Trial by Trickery. No one who reads that could possibly believe that Watson should have been convicted on either the evidence gathered nor the evidence presented. The truth was never ascertained, which is the major problem with our adversarial system.
It took four years under Labour for the Police to meet with Watson senior and apologize for the delay in looking at his complaint about Popes making a false evidential statement. Once again the action has happened since the Nats. have taken the reigns.
There is an evil connection between the Urewera Raids, Watson, Ellis and Bain. and the latest revelations about spying on activists. All policemen.




By toad, 12:41

Viking2, let’s not conveniently ignore another one - David Tamihere.

His case is seldom raised among lists of unsafe conviction. I suspect this is because he was a rather unsavory character - a self-confessed rapist. But his conviction for the Swedish tourist murders, which he denies to this day, is also fundamentally unsafe and should be investigated.

BTW, I think the Ellis case is very likely the ONLY time my signature and Don Brash’s would have been on the same petition - this type of case transcends the usual political divides.




By glubbster, 12:49

On what basis Toad?
D Tamihere and Watson are as guilty as sin and were convicted on the evidence. I loved the defence in the Watson case: “the mystery ketch”. As good a defence concoction and red herring without the Jury being fooled.
The Ellis case is quite different. It was essentially a sham. Ellis will get his Justice in due course and hopefully there will be a full investigation and the perpetrators of this injustice held to account.
The Bain case needs a retrial because there was enough evidence to prove David is guilty (unless he can somehow come up with a reasonable case that it was the father casting enough doubt on the verdict). However, the way the police handled this case was poor at best and disgraceful at worst and how embarrassing for the Dunedin police force at the time to stuff up what really should be a conviction (now a miscarriage of justice) with their own incompetence. And I dont care that Bain has already served most of his sentence, its the principle of justice that is important and I want to see a new trial.




By glubbster, 12:53

Viking not everyone is innocent! The Police usually do an adequate job of investigating crimes, but should be accountable and heads should roll when a Bain, AA Thomas or Ellis type investigation is revealed.




By Ratbiter, 12:58

Hmmm - A high Court jury and TWO Appeal Court Judges beg to differ, but what is that against the views of such luminaries as Don Brash & Catherine Rich?

Hey I know - why don’t we get rid of this corrupt, feminist-infested, Labour-controlled old boy’s network of a Bench we’ve got, and instead appoint distinguished former political figures like Brash and Rich hear all serious trials? They obviously know what’s what. Now THAT would be a good system! All these old legal types are so out of touch….

[DPF: Your hatred of National really turns your brain cells off at times. It's bloody brave of Katherine and Don to champion a man convicted of child abuse. They stand to gain nothing from this - just their desire to see a just outcome. And I bet you, you haven't read the Lynley Hood book which details through more than 1,000 pages why the convictions are unsound. But hey let's not care about that, so long as you can sneer as normal]




By Fisiani, 13:16

Paedophiles have a rough time in NZ prisons. They are regularly and frequently beaten up and bruised.
Peter Ellis was never touched by any inmate during his 7 years of incarceration.
Not a single inmate believed that he was a paedophile.
He deserves an apology and a pardon.




By Ratbiter, 13:25

It is not at all brave. The Peter Ellis miscarriage of justice has been a cause celebre for some time now. There is nothing particularly daring about saying someone should hold an inquiry into whether something was right or wrong.

And yes I do tend to sneer, when the public laps up the evidence presented in bestselling paperbacks by self-appointed people’s champions, and comes to the (author’s) conclusion that these dottery old Appeal Court Judges who sit through the evidence somehow don’t know what they’re talking about!

[DPF: The Appeal Court Judges had a narrow mandate. You obviously know stuff all about the case. And contrary to what you say, I happen to know that MPs who have supported an inquiry get some very nasty stuff thrown at them]




By Jack5, 13:32

Well done Mr Farrar for highlighting the Ellis case again.

And after following Cha’s pointer to the Poneke post on the subject I thoroughly commend that blogger’s comment and there is also good information in the reader comments.




By side show bob, 13:35

Without a doubt Peter Ellis is a far better human being then I, I would have gone “hunting” for my protagonists years ago.




By Nookin, 13:45

Appeal Court judges do not sit through the evidence. Only the trial judge does that and the trial judge does not make any determinations of fact.




By JC, 13:48

In a somewhat longer view, we can hardly “move on” as some like to put it, in areas like male teachers in primary schools or other places from which they have been driven by fear of allegations, if we don’t clean up the Ellis case.

I might add that over the years I’ve bookmarked some alarming comments and some statistics by senior police and others on the quite horrific prevalence of false allegations against NZ men. Couple that with some unchallenged surveys in the US (which seems to be similar in allegations to us) and DNA evidence, and there’s a picture that possibly most sexual allegations are unfounded and based on spite, fear of getting caught and plain nuttiness.

Clearing up the Ellis case allegations would be a good start to rolling back the myth that all children and women/girls tell the truth in sexual allegations. We need to do it for other reasons too.. like the so called facts about bullying here which say we are close to the worst in the world.. the media present no evidence, no identification of types doing the bullying or the criteria for deciding what is real bullying.





By big bruv, 13:51

I have to wonder why Ratbiter is so worried about this case going to a commission of inquiry, perhaps he is scared that the hands of Klark is all over this case given her strident support for all things feminist.




By big bruv, 13:55

Ellis: Not guilty, set up by the femenazi’s.

Watson: Don’t give a toss, even if he did not do it he is in the right place, call it Karma if you must but I simply don’t care.

Tamahere: Read same as for Watson.

Bain: Guilty as sin, its back to prison for you sonny under the preventative detention rules I hope.

Barlow: Dunno, this is one that needs looking into a lot more.

Lundy: I want him to be guilty however anybody who has made the drive from Wellington to Palmerston North on a Friday evening will tell you it cannot be done in that time frame without being noticed.




By toad, 14:08

big bruv: Watson: Don’t give a toss, even if he did not do it he is in the right place, call it Karma if you must but I simply don’t care.

Tamahere: Read same as for Watson.

That’s a very disturbing attitude bruv. Whether someone is convicted of a crime should depend on whether there is sufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt they have committed it, not what else they may have done or whether they are nice people or not. BTW, what do you think about Shipton and Schollum getting out so early, and you you think their past convictions should have been leaked by the Police in the Louise Nicholas case just as Tamihere’s were.

Barlow: I agree does need looking into a lot more. I find it strange that after two hung juries, he was convicted by a third. I suspect a lot of what was in the jurors’ subconscious was that if he was being tried a third time he really must be guilty or the Police would have given up.




By big bruv, 14:23


Any conviction based on the evidence of a proven liar like Louise Nicholas is unsafe.




By maws, 15:58

I have been involved in a trial as a member of the victims family.knowing the truth,I had to sit through lie after lie from the defense.It has taught me that there is no such thing a fair justice.Just stories from the prosecution and stories from the defence.It is up to the jury to sift through this stuff. I believe Ellis is innocent and that there are too many holes in the Watson case.Where has common sense gone?




Eisenhower, 17:39

Don’t know about Ellis, although I have an uneasy feeling. Can the suggestive questioning of very young children realise believable facts to a degree beyond reasonable doubt? Or does the fact that some of the kids stories were embellished therefore render all of their testimony as fantasy? And if the stories were unsound then why hasn’t any of the complainants recanted their versions in the last seventeen years? In saying that though some of the allegations seem preposterous. I only hope the victims can maintain their recall of events as I can with the more major aspects of my own childhood.




Zulu, 18:16

DPF said : The Chief Justice had a narrow brief, not the powers of a full Commission of Inquiry
A brief that also decided to overlook Sir Thomas Thorp’s report expressing doubts about the safety of the convictions

Artemisia said : The book is well worth a read, some of it was just hilarious.
I can’t say I thought any of the book was hilarious to be honest - scary and downright sad were the feelings I had as I read it.




Dad4justice, 18:16

Good stuff Don Brash, as we all know the Peter Ellis case highlights the corrupt Canterbury judiciary.





Lucyna, 18:34

I’ve been reading the transcripts of the child interviews today, and, there is no way Peter Ellis is innocent. For children do not know the sort of stuff that is in those transcripts. They don’t imagine it - at all - so cannot make it up.

To champion Peter Ellis is idiocy.




Dad4justice, 18:38

Lucyna - the people who conducted those interviews with the children are not credible people.
Not to mention the INVESTIGATING Detective was bonking one of the children’s mum!




Big bruv, 18:39


Your ignorance of the Ellis case is breathtaking, stop now before you make a complete fool of yourself.





Lucyna, 18:42

D4J and Big Bruv,

Children. Do. Not. Make. That. Sort. Of. Shit. Up. Period.

Unless they have been abused by someone.

I’ve known a number of adults who were abused as children, so no fool here.




Big bruv, 18:46


“Children. Do. Not. Make. That. Sort. Of. Shit. Up. Period.”

Oh really?, then how do you account for those kids (now adults) who have now retracted their stories?

Ellis is just some poor smuck who happened to be guilty of nothing more than being a male who got in the way of the feminist movement.



Dad4justice, 18:46

Lucyna - do you know that the children were brainwashed so the crown could seek a conviction




Lucyna, 18:50

Big Bruv,

Quite likely, they just want to move on with their lives and forget it all ever happened.


Brainwashed by whom? And if that were the case, that person ought to be tracked down and prosecuted and the key thrown away - because the damage you do to get those sorts of thoughts into kid’s head is just horrendous. The person would have to be a pervert of the highest order to do that. It just doesn’t sound credible, really.




Gingercrush, 18:51

Of course the kids made it up. The interviewers and the psychologists basically spoon-fed the shit to them so eventually the children believed they had been abused and why some of them continue to believe they were abused. The simple truth is you seem completely ignorant about things and you should be ashamed Lucyna




Dad4justice, 18:51

Lucyna, it didn’t happen. Look at the names of the psychologists involved and there is the clue. They are still twisting children against men. Fact. I have many recent examples. Appeal conditions do not allow me to publish cases on here.




AG 18:56


“Children. Do. Not. Make. That. Sort. Of. Shit. Up. Period.”

The claim isn’t that the kids made the stuff up out of thin air. It is that a combination of parental and interviewer suggestion led the kids to claim that things happened when they actually didn’t. There’s plenty of psychology research that indicates that this can occur, and plenty to suggest it did occur in the Ellis case.

We’ll never know for sure whether Ellis did/did not abuse kids. What we can know is whether the process that convicted him was safe. I rather think it wasn’t.




Billyborker, 19:00

lucyna, maybe kids don’t make that shit up. maybe you’re right.

But if it wasn’t made up, why were the charges against the other creche workers dropped. Same kids. Same, or similar, allegations. But the charges against all the others originally accused were dropped. Spot the difference. Charges dropped = women. Prosecution and conviction = male.

I suggest you look at the work being done by people like Elizabeth Loftus, et al.

Start here, and then remember, google is your friend.






Gingercrush, 19:00

I suggest you check out Mary de Young’s, “The Day Care Ritual Abuse Moral Panic”. An excellent book about the experience of a family-run creche in the United States that faced many of the same problems. The male in particular having charges brought against him. The most interesting thing, is the same Psychologist here also worked with the children in the Peter Ellis case.





Bigbruv, 19:04

AG & Ginger

Just last year I served on a jury where we had to watch taped interviews with a young child who was supposedly sexually assaulted by her father.
The case was pursued by CYFS despite the protestations of the Mother and quite naturally the father, I watched firstly in amazement and then growing anger at the suggestions this so called expert put into the kids head, despite the suggestions that ‘daddy had put his hands here etc..” the child kept saying no he (the father) had not done so.

Needless to say the deliberations were short and sweet and this time we were able to return a not guilty verdict but I often wonder how we might have got on had there been one of the man hating sisterhood on our jury or one of those people who are naive enough to think that kids suffer from the now discredited recovered memory syndrome.




Dad4justice, 19:07

I watched a case where the complainant a teenage girl, said that “she made the rape allegations up because mum and the lady detective told her too”. The father was convicted and got four years? Justice is sick in New Zealand.





Inventory2, 19:13

Lucyna - much as I respect your views, I believe you might have got this one wrong. Have a read of these articles from the New Zealand Law Journal, and you will see that there have been some massive abuses of process in the Peter Ellis case.




PhilBest, 19:33

I know, Lucyna, things that people like D4J claim are going on in NZ with the full resources of the State backing it up, sound just too horrific to be true……..BUT……….that is one of the reasons the feminazis are getting away with it. Good on Muriel Newman and Heather Roy, for example, there are not many like them making a cause out of the need to rein in the “Family Court” and its various agents. Look, more fuss is made in the western world about the rights of suspected terrorists than about fathers accused of one thing or another. The Yanks should just bring out some kids to accuse Rashid Khalidi and all those guys of abusing them, and hand them over to the Family Court in the USA, they’d be out of circulation quicker and with no-one giving a stuff about them.




Dean, 19:39

Lucyna:  “Brainwashed by whom? And if that were the case, that person ought to be tracked down and prosecuted and the key thrown away - because the damage you do to get those sorts of thoughts into kid’s head is just horrendous. The person would have to be a pervert of the highest order to do that. It just doesn’t sound credible, really.”

Have you actually, you know, taken the time to READ any of the post case evidence on the way the interviews were conducted? If you have actually read it, did you allow it time to process?

Are you AT ALL familiar with the satanic ritual abuse syndrome MO?

Actually, to be perfectly frank Lucyna I’m not entirely sure you’re one to be talking too much about credibility when you believe in the big unquestionable sky wizard. Perhaps that’s why you’d like to believe that satanic ritual abuse was real?

I apoligise if I’m being offensive, but damn, that’s one hell of a suspension of disbelief you’ve got going on there.




Viking2, 19:57  (shortened)

Ellis, it is inconceivable that Ellis could have done all he is accused of, particularly when he is supposed to have done so with a bunch of women in close proximity. If you doubt me try getting up to mischief among a group of women and see how quickly you get spotted. Women have a great deal of intuition (which most men including big bruv) don’t understand and fairly quickly spot something wrong.

The best way to understand what happens here is this. We have an adversarial justice system. It is motivated by the need of the opposing lawyers to “win” in court. It is not motivated by the inquiry for the truth as the French system is and clearly evidence is manipulated to the cause of winning.
Further the police (the people whose are tasked with collecting the evidence)are wed to the Prosecution Service which is in the next room, so we have a group whose sole goal is to convict people. Now that is not the job of the police. Their job is to uphold the maintenance of law and order. It is prosecutions role to present the case to court but because they and the police are one and the same there is no separation of functions.

I suggested a couple of weeks ago that the prosecution service should be separated from the police and the police should be required to convince the Prosecutor they have satisfactory evidence to go to court. The are a lot of juristicions that do this including some of the States in Australia.




gingercrush, 19:58

The really sad thing is these children were abused. Not by Peter Ellis but by the system. The police, the experts, the legal system and society.




slightlyrighty , 20:16

The fact about the Peter Ellis case is that only evidence that could be substantiated was presented to the court. The more outlandish statements, such as the murder of a child, the use of trapdoors and suspended cages, were never presented to the jury simply because of the incredible nature of these stories.

Ponder the origin of the word incredible at this point.

Also never underestimate the imagination of a small child. The whole issue started because one child said to a mother that he had seen Peters black penis. Now my boy knows what a penis is. He has one. He has seen his father’s. He cannot put that into a sexual context. He may have seen something that Peter had that was black and may look like a penis. He may have wanted to shock his mother who seems to be the sort of person who could be so shocked.

Four year old children do know how to push the right buttons.

In any case the subsequent questions that were overtly sexual in nature, could be the catalyst for placing other information in the same context. Take fairy tales for example. A pre-schooler is told that if Peter showed him his penis, then that is bad and the grown-ups need to know. When the child tells the grown-up what the grown-up wants to hear, he is validated. Seeking more validation, the child fills in the gaps from his own imagination.

If that child is familiar with say, Hansel and Gretel, where witches kill and eat children who had been put in cages, what would the child say to a grown-up who wants to hear from a child how bad this person is?

Lucyna, your attitude and belief that children do not make this stuff up is naive at best and dangerous at worst.




chfr, 20:41

I know someone who worked part time at the creche at the time of the abuse. She was gobsmacked when they prosecuted and convicted him as he was loved by all the kids. She said he was one of the few that had empathy for the kids. Her description of the head teachers was “cold fish”

She has been ignored by the cops…I wonder why???