Peter Ellis Org : Seeking Justice for Peter Ellis
The Christchurch Civic Creche Case


The Ministry of Justice
The Ministry of Justice withholds their
views on an inquiry into the Ellis case

Last updated February 15, 2004

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The Documents

March 1, 2000       Secretary for Justice, Colin Keating, Report to Minister
"Options for Further Inquiry into the Ellis case"

~ March, 2000       Attorney General, Margaret Wilson, Memorandum for Cabinet
"Peter Ellis Convictions: A Commission of Inquiry"

March 6, 2000       Minister of Justice, Phil Goff, Memorandum for Cabinet
"Options for Further Inquiry into the Ellis case"

March 7, 2000       Secretary of the Cabinet, Sarah Egan, Paper for Cabinet Policy Committee
Attaches the documents from Secretary for Justice; Attorney General, and Minister of Justice


The Request for the Documents

Jun 25, 2003         Katherine Rich MP writes to the Ministry Justice
"I request under section 12 of the Official Information Act, a copy of all correspondence (including email), reports, or any document that relates to Peter Ellis and the Christchurch Civic Creche case for the period November 1999 to April 2001 that refers to either a ministerial inquiry or a commission of inquiry".

Aug 5, 2003           Ministry of Justice responds, withholding the following information:
"Document C28 dated 6 March 2000, a Memoranda for Cabinet, covering letter and Cabinet Policy decision (Page 5 of the Memorandum for Cabinet) (One sentence withheld pursuant to sections 9(2)(f)(iv) and 9(2)(g)(i))."
(Refer March 1, 2000 : Report by Secretary for Justice to the Minister)

Oct 28, 2003          Ministry of Justice confines reasons for withholding information:
to section 9(2)(g)(i) of the Official Information Act

Dec 10, 2003         Chief Ombudsman writes to Ministry of Justice with his findings:
"My provisional view is therefore that section 9(2)(g)(i) does not apply to the information at issue and the information should be released accordingly"

Jan 12, 2004          Val Sim, of Ministry Justice releases information to Katherine Rich:
and also providing the Ministry's reasons for withholding information.

The information withheld by the Ministry is made public - with reference to an inquiry on the Ellis case:

It has to be acknowledged, however, that such an inquiry is unlikely to be able to arrive at the truth and, whatever its findings, may fail to satisfy current public doubts"

Jan 22, 2004          Chief Ombudsman writes to Katherine Rich:
to conclude his investigation

The Public Reaction

Feb 7, 2004            The Press - MP questions removal of sentence from Ellis inquiry report
The removal of a single sentence in a Ministry of Justice report into the Peter Ellis case has been questioned by an MP. The ministry has been accused of having a "vested interest" in the Ellis case, after a ruling by the Ombudsman overturned a departmental decision to keep the sentence from the public eye. Documents released by Ellis campaigner and National MP Katherine Rich show the ministry withheld the sentence from a report which she had requested under the Official Information Act......Mrs Rich said the sentence was "innocuous" and blacking it out was "the height of silliness". She now had concerns over the ministry's position on the Peter Ellis case.