The Christchurch Civic Crčche Case

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This page last updated October 14 2009

14 October 2009; Public Reaction - Blogs -  Swift and Damning
Reaction to Power’s announcement was swift and consistently damning:

·                Power insists Ellis must go to the Privy Council for resolution but quietly refuse all requests for financial assistance made by the unemployed Ellis, funds that are needed to take the case to the UK - “dirtied his copybook”

·                Yet another set of excuses”

·                Ellis represents the darkest stain on our judicial history and should be erased no matter what the passage of time is. So dark is the stain that the public interest in having a Commission outweighs Ellis personal interest in having a commission. That is, it is more important to show that our system can correct its own mistakes than it is to clearly his falsely maligned reputation.

·                The MoJ is clearly being run by self interested mandarins. Power is acting like a eunuch

·                Power is out of his depth as Minister of Justice. Of course he’s going to cling to the views of his officials, who are amongst those who have the most to lose if any inquiry occurs

·                I just don’t understand this. Why wouldn’t they allow an inquiry? Public opinion is obviously in favour of it.

·                The Justice Ministry is determined it will not be rectified and sadly, every minister of justice since has licked the arseholes of the officials. As for going to the Privy Council, Ellis is penniless

·                Power’s decision is appalling. The Ellis imprisonment was a travesty of justice. The whole prosecution and its allegations were a mass-hysteria sham

·                We are all so conditioned to believe paedophilia is the worst possible “social crime”, that I believe no Govt. wants to be seen as the one that “made nice” to someone convicted of it. Ellis’s guilt or innocence is not important

·                Disgusting. This case represents a festering scab on the bum of New Zealand…and it aint goin away anytime soon. Take ya blinkers off Power..grow some balls and do the right thing

·                If Val Sim was involved in any way with this decision then there would be reason to be concerned.

2009-1014 - Blog: The Inquiring Mind - Ellis knocked back again!

2009-1014 - Blog: Kiwiblog - Gutted

14 October 2009; Initial Reaction from petitioners

Dr Don Brash said he was disappointed the request had been declined because there was so much heavyweight support behind the petition. He said he didn't know whether or not Ellis was guilty, but it was clear he had been "very poorly served by the New Zealand justice system" and that needed to be put right

Dr Lynley Hood says she is disappointed. She said Mr Power had "completely missed the point" of the letter requesting the inquiry. “We made it very clear that ......the commission of inquiry needs to go into the circumstances and processes that led to the whole Civic Creche case, not just the conviction of Peter Ellis,"

"The case was like a brush fire that spread through Christchurch and ripped apart communities and gave families enormous stress. It destroyed the careers of about a dozen well-trained and committed childcare workers who worked at the centre, so it goes a whole lot wider than Peter Ellis.”

She said Mr Power's statement that Ellis had options to appeal his case was a cop out. "The thing about legal processes is they can go round and round forever,"  "That's exactly the same argument that was used by the solicitor general at the time of the Arthur Allan Thomas case -- the then Prime Minister Rob Muldoon said `this is nonsense, we've got to stop this going round and round, pardon him, have a commission of inquiry'."

She says the case was a dramatic and distressing event in New Zealand's history, and it must be looked into. The case is “driving men out of early childhood education”

2009-1014 - Three News - Ellis campaigners denied inquiry  

2009-1014 - - Brash, Hood disappointed by Peter Ellis inquiry rejection   

14 October 2009; News Reports of Justice Minister Announcement

The reports repeat information from Simon Power’s Press Release.  They also provide background that the request for an inquiry came from a high profile group including Don Brash, Katherine Rich and Dr Lynley Hood who wanted all aspects of the investigation and legal processes relating to the case re-investigated.

2009-1014 - TVNZ - Inquiry into Peter Ellis case declined  

2009-1014 - Radio NZ - Request for inquiry into Peter Ellis case denied

2009-1014 - Stuff - Government rejects Peter Ellis inquiry  

2009-1014 - Stuff - Commission of inquiry for Ellis declined 

2009-1014 - NZ Herald - Request for inquiry in Peter Ellis case declined 

2009-1014 - Newstalk ZB - Peter Ellis inquiry declined 

14 October 2009 - Simon Power declines Commission of Inquiry


Simon Power




A request to hold a Commission of Inquiry into the Peter Ellis case has been declined, mainly because Peter Ellis has not exhausted all his appeal rights, Justice Minister Simon Power announced today. “Mr Ellis’ outstanding right to seek leave to appeal to the Privy Council means the request for a Commission of Inquiry should be declined,”

"Other reasons for declining the request include that the Commissions of Inquiry Act is not well designed for an inquiry into the safety of particular criminal convictions, and there is a question about whether it is legally possible to order an inquiry into such convictions under this Act."



2009-1014 - NZ Government - No Commission of Inquiry into Peter Ellis case
Attachments to Media Release

Ministry Justice advice March 2009

Ministry Justice advice May 2009

Timeline for Ellis case

Simon Power advises Brash, Rich and Hood

Simon Power letter to Don Brash, Katherine Rich and Lynley Hood