The Christchurch Civic Crèche Case

News Reports Index

Last       1993 Jun-Dec       Next

This page last updated May 31 2005

1993-1216 - The Press - Crèche case costs move rejected

1993-1206 - The Mail - Organised Sex Abuse
by Kim Newth - A Christchurch researcher says that in the past three years she has identified 30 survivors of ritual abuse and knows of 11 other alleged cases. Ann-Marie Stapp, who prefers to define ritual abuse as "organised and systematic abuse," has called for calm on the issue rather than hysteria about the perceived "Satanic" connotations of the word "ritual"........Ms Stapp, who describes herself as a family violence prevention consultant ...... says: "My job, as a researcher, is not to disbelieve, but to collect stories and make sense of them". She is urging the public to remain open minded and not to dismiss these stories of abuse as fabrication or "false memory".

1993-1121 - Sunday Times - Skeptics critical of ritual abuse author's visit

1993-1119 - The Press - Abuse expert says media 'too negative'

1993-1118 - Marlborough Express - Crèche parents call in US abuse therapist

1993-1118 - The Press - Therapist receives mixed reaction
by Martin Van Beynen - An American ritual-abuse therapist, Ms Pamela Hudson, received a mixed reaction from a group of Christchurch therapists, social workers and parents, a participant said yesterday. About 40 people attended Ms Hudson's workshop at the George Hotel where it will continue today. A separate meeting between parents of children who attended the Christchurch Civic Childcare Centre will be held on Friday. In 1988, Ms Hudson, a Californian mental health worker, produced a now well-known checklist of children's symptoms and allegations that she claimed indicated ritual abuse.

1993-1116 - The Press - Ritual Abuse Therapist to present Christchurch Seminar
by Martin Van Beynen - An American ritual abuse therapist cited as an authority, during the Christchurch Civic Childcare Centre case will present a seminar in Christchurch this week. Ms Pamela Hudson has been brought to Christchurch by the Campbell Centre, a counselling service funded by Presbyterian Support Services. Ms Hudson's name cropped up during the preliminary hearing into the crèche charges in December last year. A woman witness, whose son implicated crèche workers in a circle incident, admitted calling for Ms Hudson to be brought to New Zealand. She said she doubted the ability of counsellors in Christchurch to work in the area of ritual abuse.

1993-1114 - Sunday Times - Bid to sway Ellis appeal suggested
by Alan Samson

1993-1109- The Press - Ellis appeal delayed

1993-1030 - The Press - Crèche women allege police prejudice

1993-1017 - Sunday Times - There's no secret about sex abuse
by Robyn Hewland

1993-1017 - Sunday Times - Support for Façade
by W Andrew Gibson -

1993-1017 - Sunday Times - Peter Ellis trial was 'comedy of errors'
by Winston Wealleans

1993-1004 - The Press - Ellis-case parents angry at sex claim
by Mike Crean

1993-1004 - Christchurch Mail - Sex abuse interviews defended

1993-1003 - Sunday Times - Sex abuse industry shuns the light of public inquiry
by Frank Haden

1993-0927 - Dominion - Former civic creche staff's advert draws criticism
by Rebecca Norris - An advertisement claiming that sexual abuse hysteria had gone too far drew criticism yesterday from a spokeswoman for some of the parents of children involved in the Christchurch Civic Creche case - A spokeswoman for some of the parents and children involved in the civic crèche case, Ann Marie Stapp of Wellington, said she  was worried the campaign had a hidden agenda

1993-0927 - The Press - Façade group 'not set up for Ellis appeal'
by Greg Jackson -

1993-0926 - Sunday News - Good luck, Façade!
by George Balani

1993-0926 - Sunday News - Crèche women call for child abuse probe
by Kelly Norton

1993-0925 - Christchurch Star - Campaign on abuse cases seeks funds
by Brad Walker

1993-0925 - The Press - Abuse case inquiry call angers parents

1993-0924 - The Press - Women call for sex-abuse change

1993-0924 - The Press - Skeptics back inquiries into sexual-abuse cases

1993-0923 - TVNZ - Network News
The former Christchurch crèche workers from the Civic Child Care Centre acquitted of sexual abuse charges in April today launched a campaign to change the way such cases are handled

1993-0922 - Christchurch Star - Sex abuse campaign
The four women discharged before trial in the Civic Child Care Centre hearings are launching a national campaign to change the way child sexual abuse cases are handled. The four, Gaye Davidson, Debbie Gillespie, Jan Buckingham and Marie Keys, will attend a meeting at the Cotsworld Hotel tomorrow to launch FACADE, False accusations of Child Abuse Damage Everyone

1993-0921 - The Press - Application rejected
Justice Williamson in the High Court at Christchurch has rejected a Radio New Zealand application to lift the suppression order on two exhibits produced as evidence before five crèche workers were committed for trial

1993-0916 - The Christchurch Star - Childcare workers seek costs

1993-0911 - The Press - Moral panic and abuse

1993-0906 - The Press - 'Panic promoted' before creche case

1993-0901 - Radio NZ - Kim Hill - Interview with Dr Sherrill Mulhern             
Kim Hill - Interview with Dr Sherrill Mulhern, Anthropologist and expert on "Ritual Child Abuse"
Kim Hill - So are you convinced that this is a form of perhaps hysteria?
Sherrill Mulhern - Well that's not, hysteria is a big term, I actually use it, it certainly, I think what we decided to use the term moral panic, a little; more accurate. Hysteria is in fact a psychological term. It is definitely a social panic insofar as that it's being carried by groups of believers.

1993-0900 - North & South - Beyond the Civic crèche case
By Cate Brett - On June 22, Justice Williamson sent Peter Hugh McGregor Ellis to jail for 10 years with some harsh words ringing in his ears: he told him he was a pervert; that he had no doubt the jury was correct in its verdict and that Ellis could have assisted the child victims of these crimes, and himself, if he had faced up to the truth about himself and sought help at an early stage.

1993 - IPT Journal - Civic Crèche Case Christchurch
by Felicity Goodyear-Smith - Allegations of children being sexually abused by workers in child care centers are now becoming common throughout the Western world Frequently these cases follow a similar pattern whereby a concerned parent interprets a symptom or behaviour of her child as indicating sexual abuse and activates investigations by other parents and the authorities. Although they initially deny any molestation, repeated interrogations eventually lead to children claiming increasingly perverted and bizarre events, naming more and more child victims and adult perpetrators. Allegations typically involve consuming urine and feces, penetrating body orifices with fingers, objects and penises, "sex rings," making child pornography, animal and human sacrifice, and even eating dead babies

1993-0830 - The Press - Childcare staff seek checks

1993-0828 - Christchurch Star - Mediation suggested
by Jeremy Flint

1993-0827 - TVNZ - Primetime
Child abuse issues recent publicity is making some parents paranoid about their relationship with their children, but counsellors say publicity should not change active parenting

1993-0825 - The Press - Date set for Ellis

1993-0825 - The Press - Crèche parents may take council to court
by Barry Clarke

1993-0821 - The Press - Ellis victims claim $5m
by Sarona Iosefa

1993-0818 - TVNZ - Network News
Films, Videos and Publications Classification Bill allows prosecution for possession of banned pornography

1993-0812 - TVNZ - Network News
A two year study of convicted sex offenders shows their brainwaves are different, this system for identifying potential child sex abusers has been developed in Dunedin

1993-0723 - TVNZ - Holmes
Studio interview John Banks discussing his claims that MPs who favoured banning discrimination against homosexuals, part of new Human Rights Bill, would soon turn to supporting bestiality

1993-0715 - The Press - Video Interviews in child abuse cases defended 
by Dianne Keenan - The use of videotapes for interviewing children in cases of sexual abuse is an international success, says a Christchurch police investigator……. Children may lie about breaking a window to get out of trouble. They are less inclined to lie about sexual abuse where they see that disclosure will get them into trouble. It would appear that most children blame themselves for having been abused, and feel guilty. Critics of the system who accuse children of prejudice, motive, and conspiracy are projecting adult values on children, says Mr Roy Mitchell.

1993-0710 - NZ Listener - Out of the mouths of babes

1993-0710 - NZ Listener - Judgement in Christchurch 
by Bruce Ansley - Alone in a cell in Paparua Prison's maximum security wing, Peter Ellis has begun serving a 10-year jail sentence. A jury was certain of his guilt: convicted out of the mouths of very young children, Ellis had betrayed his trust. Outwardly the darling of an inner-city crèche, he had secretly abused his charges for five years without once being suspected. But outside the courtroom people were already saying it was impossible, that something was wrong with the system that Ellis had become a victim himself. Fellow crèche workers and friends were demanding an inquiry. His lawyers were planning an appeal. How could he have committed such crimes? Some remain certain that he did not.

1993-0707 - TVNZ - Counterpoint
Counterpoint debates the issue of the sexual abuse of children in New Zealand with studio guests Doctor Miriam Saphira, senior psychologist with the Social Welfare Department, and Michael Marris, psychotherapist

1993-0704 - Sunday Times - Masons weary of allegations        
The Masonic Lodge says it is tired of being associated with conspiracy theories and ritual abuse allegations such as those made in the Christchurch Civic Childcare Centre case. At least four allegations of child abuse in the case referred to the lodge and are being held up as examples of the "unreality" surrounding the case. Masonic Lodge national grand secretary Alan Hart said this week that the lodge had had enough of ridiculous allegations. It was, however, used to them and almost resigned to them. He said the lodge often cropped up in all sorts of allegations, most recently in the Peter Ellis case, but also as examples in ritual abuse seminars which had been given in New Zealand.

1993-0703 - The Press - MP 'misunderstood' crèche call       
Ms Gaye Davidson said yesterday that the Minister of Police, Mr Banks, had misunderstood the reason she and others were calling for an inquiry into the trial. They wanted the procedures of the Investigation into alleged abuse at the Christchurch Civic' Childcare Centre reviewed…..The group wanted the interviewing of the children and the number of interviews to be studied. Other concerns were the counselling of children as victims of abuse, including satanic abuse; the procedure for investigating the background of interviews; the "assumption" abuse had occurred as a premise for interviews; and "manipulation" of children into talking about sexual abuse.

1993-0702 - The Press - No Ellis Inquiry, says Banks       
by Oliver Riddell - Replying to a letter from Ms Gaye Davidson; the former supervisor of the childcare centre and one of three women working there who were subsequently discharged by the High Court, Mr Banks said: "I cannot for the life of me understand why you and your friends continue to support this convicted child molester. "I was not Impressed with your submission; I was more impressed with what the sentencing judge (Mr Justice Williamson) had to say than responding to pleas in mitigation from people who have little or no community support."……….. Mr Banks replied that from his knowledge of the circumstances and court decisions, there was no need for an official inquiry

1993-0630 - The Press - Crèche case
by Dr Dugald J McDonald

1993-0630 - The Press - Crèche case
by P.C.Williams

1993-0627 - Sunday Times - Lobby group wants inquiry into handling of sex abuse cases
by Alan Samson

1993-0627 - Sunday News - 'Crèche case ruined us'

1993-0627 - Sunday News - Crèche kids rally for Ellis
by Matt Conway

1993-0626 - The Press - Revocation move

1993-0624 - The Press - Ellis in isolation as jail term begins
by Diane Keenan

1993-0624 - The Press - Media asked to bow out of case
by Sarona Iosefa

1993-0623 - Christchurch Star - 'Perverted user of children'
Peter Ellis is a "mean man, a perverted user of children," Crown counsel Brent Stanaway told the High Court at Christchurch yesterday. Mr Stanaway was making submissions for the Crown in the sentencing of Ellis, aged 35, on 16 counts of child abuse. Mr Justice Williamson sentenced Ellis to jail for 10 years on the charges

1993-0623 - Christchurch Star - Mum: My son is innocent
by Jeremy Flint - "We'll get him out one way or the other," the mother of Peter Ellis said outside the High Court at Christchurch yesterday after the sentencing of her son to 10 years' jail. Lesley Ellis said her son was innocent of the 16 charges he had been convicted and sentenced on, and she would continue fighting to prove it. Mrs Ellis said she last spoke to Ellis last Friday when he told her he "would maintain his innocence until the day he died."

1993-0623 - The Press - Ellis sentenced to 10 years in jail

1993-0623 - The Press - Ellis judge says verdicts correct

1993-0622 - TVNZ - Primetime
Civic Child Care Centre crèche worker Peter Ellis is tonight beginning a 10 year prison sentence for child sex abuse. Parents of children involved say Ellis has got what he deserves. However his supporters are still protesting his innocence, despite what the judge described as a carefully considered verdict.

1993-0622 - TVNZ - Network News
Peter Ellis is tonight in Addington Prison beginning a 10 year jail term, at his sentencing earlier today Ellis was described as a man with two sides to his character, on one hand flamboyant, enthusiastic and caring, on the other a perverted abuser of children, Ellis won't be due for parole for six and a half years

1993-0620 - Sunday News - Fear keeps Ellis silent
by Matt Conway - Jailed crèche worker Peter Ellis refused to give evidence against a man accused of threatening to kill him because he feared they could end up in prison together. Graham Roderick Clark, an unemployed 21-year-old, walked free from a Christchurch court on Friday after Ellis refused to testify for the Crown

1993-0620 - Sunday News - How competent?
As the jury on the Christchurch Civic Child Care case needed both, (need to see a doctor, counselling) I wonder how competent they were to bring in a verdict?

1993-0620 - Sunday Times - Another Male Crèche Worker Accused
by Alan Samson - Another male crèche worker was last year accused of sexually abusing children at the Christchurch Civic Centre crèche by the same woman who initiated action against civic centre crèche worker Peter Ellis. That accusation was made after the civic centre case had flared, but was quickly dismissed by police. By the time of the woman's complaint the man had moved to work in another crèche. He has since chosen to stop working in child care. The woman linked him with a name that recurred in some of civic centre children's supposed disclosures, even though that was not his name. Former civic centre workers have told the Sunday Times the woman had also distributed photographs of the man she was accusing to crèche parents.

1993-0619 - The Press - Man discharged on threat to kill Ellis

1993-0619 - The Press - Fears and Outrage (Sunday Times advertisement)

1993-0618 - The Press - Room not concealed

1993-0617 - The Press - Hidden room 'housed comics'
by Barry Clarke

1993-0616 - The Press - Banks supports policeman  
NZPA - The Minister of Police, Mr Banks, yesterday backed comments by the police officer in charge of the Christchurch Civic Crèche sex abuse inquiry. "It is well past time for community leaders to stand against evil," Mr Banks said. "There is nothing wrong with police officers condemning what is wrong and there is certainly nothing wrong with police officers believing in God, I totally support Inspector Pearce."……He was being interviewed about complaints against police handling of accusations against women workers at the crèche.

1993-0616 - The Press - Police back crèche-case chief
The police moved quickly yesterday to support Detective Inspector Brian Pearce after reaction to comments he made on the "Holmes" television show about his personal views on pornography. Mr Pearce, a member of the Salvation Army and head of the investigation into sex abuse at the Christchurch Civic Childcare Centre, said society was paying for its liberal views.

1993-0616 - The Press - Blitz on porn pledged 
by Barry Clarke - Police will continue to investigate child pornography in Christchurch after seizing thousands of hard-core videotapes during the Civic Childcare Centre inquiry. Officers who worked on the long inquiry say they are appalled at the level of deviancy they uncovered in the city. About 2000 pornographic videotapes were seized, many unclassified, showing child sex, rape scenes, bestiality, and sadomasochism

1993-0616 - The Press - New school on crèche site
by Martin Glynn - A new pre-school will soon open in the extensively remodeled premises of the former Civic Childcare Centre in the Cranmer Centre. Little but the shell of the old centre remains as renovations continue to prepare for the opening of Portobelo Pre-school on July 1. The former Civic Childcare Centre was at the centre of the long-running child-abuse trial that resulted in the conviction 10 days ago of a crèche worker on 16 charges

1993-0615 - TVNZ - Holmes
Remote studio interview Assistant Commissioner Merv Derecourt, Christchurch on the assignment of Detective Inspector Brian Pearce to the case concerning the Christchurch Civic Child Care Centre and child sex abuse scandal and Pearce's strong views concerning Christianity and morality

1993-0615 - TVNZ - Holmes
Last night on Holmes Brian Pearce, the officer in charge of the Christchurch Civic Child Care Centre child abuse inquiry expressed his personal belief that crimes like those committed by Peter Ellis are caused by the prevalence of pornography and an ever increasing trend to liberalism in our society. The four female crèche workers discharged by the judge hearing the case believe the remarks made by Detective Inspector Brian Pearce show that a full inquiry into the police handling of the case is called for, that the police could not have been objective when the man handling the case held such views

1993-0615 - TVNZ - Holmes
Remote interview with Lianne Dalziel in Christchurch and Trevor deCleene in Wellington after concerns expressed about remarks made by Detective Inspector Brian Pearce on the Holmes show last night over his handling of Civic Child Care Centre abuse trial

1993-0614 - TVNZ - Holmes
Peter Ellis may be in jail, the trial over but the story behind the Christchurch Civic Child Care Centre is far from over. Three women who were arrested, charged and then discharged claim their lives have been ruined by a police investigation flawed from the beginning

1993-0614 - TVNZ - Holmes
Live studio interview Detective Inspector Brian Pearce, Christchurch Police on Christchurch Civic Child Care Centre crèche investigation into child sexual abuse involving workers Gaye Davidson, Janice Buckingham and Marie Keys

1993-0614 - The Press - Ellis verdict 'disgraced Chch'
by Oliver Riddell

1993-0613 - Sunday News - Crèche case questions
by George Balani

1993-0613 - Sunday Times - Christchurch disgraced by insupportable Ellis verdict
by Frank Haden

1993-0612 - The Press - 'Insufficient' evidence against creche trio

1993-0612 - The Press - Jury offered counselling

1993-0612 - The Press - Crèche case

1993-0611 - TVNZ - Network News
The reasons why the three female Civic Child Care Centre workers who were acquitted of the one remaining charge of being a party to sexually abusing a child in their care were originally suppressed. Today after an application by TVNZ the judge agreed to make public his decision.

1993-0611 - The Press - Ellis co-workers deny missing warning signs       
by Barry Clarke - The lawyer for the four women discharged over the Christchurch Civic Childcare Centre affair has denied claims that they missed signs Peter Ellis might have been a child molester. Mr Gerald Nation was responding to a report commissioned by the Christchurch City Council that implied staff should have been more aware of warning signs shown by Ellis.
Ellis was convicted last week on 16 of 25 charges of sex abuse involving children from the centre. The report, prepared by Ms Rosemary Smart, a psychologist, after Ellis had been arrested in early 1992, said he had shown behavioural problems that went largely unchecked by other staff during his five years at the centre.

1993-0610 - TVNZ - Holmes
Internal Affairs Minister Graeme Lee discusses whether children in childcare are more at risk from sexual abuse from homosexual men than heterosexual men

1993-0610 - The Press - Ellis abuse signs 'missed'       
by Robin Munro - Staff seemed unaware of warning signs shown by convicted child sex abuser Peter Ellis in his handling of children at the Christchurch Civic Childcare Centre, a report released yesterday says. He was observed being rough with children and humiliating and threatening them. The report also said Ellis's personal behavioural problems included recognised pointers to his being a potential abuser. Ellis, convicted last week on 16 of 25 charges, was said to have displayed inappropriate behaviour that went largely unchecked by other staff during his five years at the centre. The report was commissioned by the Christchurch City Council in March 1992 and prepared by a psychologist, Ms Rosemary Smart, director of the Campbell Centre, a counselling service run by the Presbyterian Church.

1993-0610 - The Press - Bank's campaign 'petty, vindictive'       
by Peter Luke - [Mrs O'Regan] expressed outrage at the Mr Banks's link between the sexual abuse of children and homosexual behaviour. Mr Banks said Ellis's conviction last week provided "some hard lessons for the supporters of the so-called Human Rights Amendment Bill and should stiffen resolve against it". "Surely decent New Zealanders have learnt from the appalling saga of the Christchurch Civic crèche. I cannot for the life of me understand why Parliamentarians are rushing to further liberalise unnatural behaviour with this misguided Bill which is soon to come back to Parliament."………. Ms Dalziel joined the assault. "John Banks's attempt to smear all gays with the Ellis case is sick. In this case, Mr Banks is using a terrible example of child abuse to fight his private war against homosexuals," she said.

1993-0609 - TVNZ - Primetime
A Christchurch City Council report on the Christchurch Civic Child Care Centre crèche says management should have had doubts about Peter Ellis' suitability for childcare, but former Civic crèche workers say it's not that simple. They say there was no clear indication that Peter Ellis was involved in child abuse

1993-0609 - Christchurch Star - Paparua Prison likely to protect Ellis
by Jeremy Flint

1993-0608 - TVNZ - Primetime
Bob Drummond is just one of the many male crèche workers who have felt under greater professional scrutiny and suspicion since the Civic Child Care Centre crèche (Christchurch) trial publicity

1993-0608 - TVNZ - Primetime
Outrage at Police Minister John Banks comments on radio today that liberalisation of restrictions against homosexuals will lead to more sexual offences particularly against children

1993-0607 - TVNZ - Network News
The mother of convicted child abuser Peter Ellis has spoken out in his defence. Ellis was found guilty on Saturday of 16 charges of sexual abuse at the Christchurch Civic Child Care Centre crèche, but his mother still believes he's innocent

1993-0607 - The Press - Families want to tell stories

1993-0607 - The Press - Parents weep at verdict

1993-0607 - The Press - Case history

1993-0607 - The Press - Innocent  (extract)

1993-0606 - TVNZ - Network News
Former crèche worker Peter Ellis is to appeal his conviction on 16 sex abuse charges and co-workers from the Christchurch Centre say they'll fight to clear his name. Meanwhile, the building which housed the crèche will soon reopen its doors to children

1993-0606 - TVNZ - 60 Minutes - Part1
Part one of a two part story. Profile of Peter Ellis, convicted child sex offender involved in the Christchurch Civic Child Care Centre scand

1993-0606 - TVNZ - 60 Minutes - Part 2
Part two of a two part story on the child sex scandal surrounding the Christchurch Civic Child Care Centre. 60 Minutes talks to the family of one of the children sexually abused by Peter Ellis

1993-0606 - Sunday News - Jail Target

1993-0606 - Sunday Times - Ellis guilty of sexual abuse

1993-0605 - TVNZ - Network News
Cliff Joiner outside the Christchurch High Court comments on the Peter Ellis trial involving sexual abuse of children from the Civic Childcare Crèche in Christchurch

1993-0605 - TVNZ - Network News
The trial of Peter Ellis may be over, but the ordeal for the victims and their families is not. One family, whose eldest boy was one of 11 child witnesses agreed to talk to One Network News

1993-0605 - The Dominion - Jury retires for second night

1993-0605 - Otago Daily Times - No decision by jury

1993-0605 - NZ Herald - Ellis trial jurors still out

1993-0605 - The Press - Crèche case jury still out

1993-0604 - TVNZ - Primetime
Live eye report from Cliff Joiner from the Christchurch High Court on the trial of suspected child sex abuser Peter Ell

1993-0604 - TVNZ - Network News
Live eye report from Cliff Joiner from the Christchurch High Court re the trial of suspected child sex abuser Peter Ellis

1993-0604 - TVNZ - Network News
The jury in the Peter Ellis trial has been deliberating for a day and a half. They're considering 25 charges of sexual abuse against the former Civic Child Care Centre worker

1993-0604 - The Press - Crèche verdict awaited

1993-0604 - The Press - Children's claims suspect - counsel

1993-0603 - TVNZ - Primetime
Live eye interview Cliff Joiner outside Christchurch High Court where jury has retired while debating the charges against Peter Ellis

1993-0603 - TVNZ - Primetime
The jury in the Peter Ellis Christchurch Civic Child Care Centre abuse case has retired for the night. Peter Ellis faces 25 charges of abusing children in his care

1993-0603 - TVNZ - Network News
Live eye interview Cliff Joiner outside Christchurch High Court where the jury is debating the child abuse charges against Peter El

1993-0603 - TVNZ - Network News
The jury in the Peter Ellis Civic Child Care Centre abuse case is now considering its verdict, the judge summed up this morning and the jury's been locked away for nearly four hours now.

1993-0603 - The Press - Ellis trial drawing to close

1993-0603 - The Press - Crèche trial hinges on credibility issue

1993-0602 - TVNZ - Network News
The jury in the country's longest running sex abuse trial should retire to consider its verdict sometime tomorrow. Christchurch Civic Child Care Centre worker Peter Ellis faces 26 charges of sexually abusing children in his care. Today both the prosecution and defence for Peter Ellis made their final submissions

1993 0602 - The Press - Crèche accused's colleagues testify

1993-0601 - The Press - Expert questions children's behaviour