The Christchurch Civic Creche Case

News Reports Index

Last  <<<  2003 July  >>>  Next

This page last updated March 19 2005

Cartoon, Garrick Tremain, October 20, 2003

2003-0729 - Dominion Post - MP may stand down from creche hearing
by David McLoughlin -
ACT NZ list MP Stephen Franks is considering standing aside from a parliamentary committee that will hear the Christchurch Civic Creche case petition because he signed it.

2003-0728 - Otago Daily Times - Sex abuse
by Suzanne George - I see Mel Tapp (12.7.03) is once again expressing his nonsense about the Peter Ellis case in your columns. One only has to look at the notable people who have lent their name to "that petition" to realise that there is a distinct effort to suppress the truth which is seen as necessary to preserving order. I do not take orders from men who attempt to assert their patriarchal authority at the expense of truth

2003-0727 - Newstalk ZB - Minister awaits information
Justice Minister waits to receive information which may spark reopening of Peter Ellis case. The Justice Minister is waiting to receive information which may spark the reopening of the Peter Ellis case. Supporters of the convicted child molester claim they are on the verge of releasing details which prove the jury did not hear all the information in the 1993 trial

2003-0726 - The Press - Civic Creche dad condemns Ellis campaign
by Jarrod Booker - A Christchurch Civic Creche parent says he has "absolute belief" in convicted paedophile Peter Ellis's guilt and condemns the high-profile campaign to clear him. The man, whose daughter disclosed abuse, but whose evidence was not used in court, has spoken out just as Auckland publisher Barry Colman threatens to print transcripts of the children's testimony in Sunday newspapers as part of his campaign to clear Ellis

2003-0726 - NZ Herald - Creche parent blasts crusade
NZPA - A Christchurch Civic Creche parent says ....people had rushed to make a judgment about Ellis based on a "book and seeing something in the media". He said his daughter, now at university, refused to talk or even "think about" what happened at the Civic Creche. But he said the trial was being brought up so often there was no avoiding it.

2003-0726 - Newstalk ZB - New info on Peter Ellis case 
Peter Ellis supporters believe they are on the verge of a breakthrough- claim they have new information.  Supporters of convicted child molester Peter Ellis believe they are on the verge of a breakthrough. Ellis served six-and-a-half years for the offences, which he has always denied.

2003-0725 - Dominion Post - Miscarriage of justice
Letter to the Editor by John Welch - I challenge any person of normal intelligence to read Lynley Hood's book, A City Possessed, and not realise at once that there has been a terrible miscarriage of justice

2003-0725 - Dominion Post - The right to a fair trial
Letter to the Editor by Keith James -   A significant concern is that the jury did not hear all the evidence. ........disquiet about the methods by which that evidence was obtained. ......the principal child witness subsequently admitted that she had lied? .... The issue ....... about the right of all citizens, including M Walker, to a fair trial.

2003-0725 - NBR - Why doesn’t Phill Goff act?
Anyone who reads A city Possessed must wonder why the government is so reluctant to act. After all, the episodes span the period of the Lange-Douglas Labour government, the Bolger National government and a coalition or three. So no particular party is to blame.  Some suggestions:

2003-0725 - NBR - Changing times or changing gender
Ms Hood reminds us that at the same time (1987) Dr Dianne Espie, of Christchurch's Child Protection Team, was examining young children entering a children's health camp for signs of sexual abuse. In 1988 she reported that "of the more than 250 children who had passed through the camp the previous year 117 had probably been sexually abused, one probably had not been and the rest were in doubt"

2003-0725 - NBR - ‘Wimmin’ of today move from sexual to eco abuse
by Owen McShane -  A City Possessed is the title of Lynley Hood's book on the Christchurch Civic Creche case. Every New Zealander should read it. You might think you have heard all you need to know about the Peter Ellis case. However, only the last half of the book is directly concerned with the trial. The first, and more interesting half, provides a short history of witch-hunts in particular and hysteria in general.

2003-0724 - Otago Daily Times - Colman will expose Peter Ellis evidence
by Jane Smith - Barry Colman plans to publicly expose children's evidence from the Christchurch Civic Creche sex abuse case. The evidence was never heard by the jury and proved the case should have been "laughed out of court", the National Business Review publisher said yesterday. Following the publicity surrounding his pledge of $100,000 for new evidence leading to a royal commission of inquiry into the Peter Ellis case, Mr Colman had been given transcripts of original interviews with the Christchurch children involved

2003-0724 - Dominion Post - Concerns for the giraffe
Letter to the Editor by Noel Ellis -  My concerns are for the giraffe the children remembered killing and eating, and a boy called Roger who was killed.

            Follow up comment

2003-0725 - Usenet - Concerns for the giraffe
by David McLoughlin -
. Actually the boy who was killed was named Andrew.  He was killed with a knife in a satanic ritual

2003-0724 - The Press - Ellis case - Minister's blinkered attitude
Letter to the Editor by N M Gillespie - The Minister's blinkered attitude is deplorable and seems to border on desperation.

2003-0724 - The Press - Ellis case - Larger picture
Letter to the Editor by Teresa Bowdon - Is the Peter Ellis case part of a larger and different picture over time than has been considered thus far?

2003-0724 - The Press - Publisher to expose children's testimony
by Jarrod Booker - Publisher Barry Colman plans to publicly expose controversial children's testimony from the Christchurch Civic Creche sex abuse case. Mr Colman said yesterday he planned to publish transcripts of the testimonies, which he obtained as a result of publicity surrounding a $100,000 reward for fresh information on the case

2003-0724 – National Business Review - NZ publisher to expose suppressed evidence in sex abuse case
National Business Review publisher Barry Colman plans to expose suppressed children's testimony from the Christchurch Civic Crèche sex abuse case in Sunday newspaper advertisements. Mr Colman said Wednesday he obtained the testimonials as a result of publicity surrounding a $100,000 reward for fresh information on the case. The evidence will be published full page advertisements on August 3.

2003-0723 - Newstalk ZB - Evidence to be published 
Campaigner against conviction of Peter Ellis will publish evidence from children which was never put to jury. A campaigner against the conviction of Peter Ellis for child abuse is to publish transcripts of evidence from children that was never put to the jury. Publisher Barry Colman says the transcripts have come to light as a result of the publicity surrounding his $100,000 reward for new evidence in the affair.

2003-0721 - Dominion Post - Peter Ellis and the Justice system in New Zealand
Letter to the Editor by Mark Stead (not yet published) - Phil Goff, by refusing to appoint a Royal Commission of Inquiry can no longer claim to have a justice system the envy of the Western World

2003-0720 - Sunday Star Times - Get the facts straight
Letter to the Editor by Colleen Waugh - The process which convicted Ellis has major systemic flaws. The "psychological evidence" produced by "experts" was filtered, distorted and misused. Physical and medical evidence was ignored or absent. The children involved have grown up wrongly believing they were abused. The "experts" who gave them this burden still practice.

2003-0720 - Sunday Star Times - Issue is pro-justice
Letter to the Editor by Bill Wright - I am sad that that Debbie Kean is sad about the new Ellis initiative (July 13) but I think she misses the point. The issue is not so much about Peter Ellis as about judicial procedures that are flawed. The initiative is not anti-feminist or anti-religious but rather pro-justice

2003-0719 - The Listener - Reasonable doubts
Letter to the Editor by Alison Hanham  - The way in which one boy evolved his increasingly bizarre tales under adult pressure was revealed in 1997, when his mother published A Mother’s Story (Howling at the Moon Press, Auckland) under the pseudonym Joy Bander

2003-0718 - NBR - Ellis affair intrigues curious northern briefs
by Jock Anderson -  It seems, according to Our Man at the Bar, northern briefs are keen for insights into a bewildering case that many believe could only have been conceived in the garden city, now branded Salem of the South.

2003-0718 - Dominion Post - Juries not always right
Letter to the Editor by Jonathon Harper - I am surprised you recently featured the comments of M Walker (Letters, July 14) about the Peter Ellis convictions. It suggests that juries always get it right. The criminology textbook, Crime In New Zealand by Dr Greg Newbold, says they have got it wrong several times, and that our legal system is inadequate at fixing its own mistakes. He cites the Ellis case as an example

2003-0715 - Dominion Post - Jury believed the children
Letter to the Editor by M Walker - Once again I am astounded by the arrogance of those who advocate so strongly for the innocence of Peter Ellis......... Those involved in public debate rely on the conclusions of others with interest of their own and rarely, if ever, hear from the victims. The jury heard from the children. The jury believed the children. The jury found Ellis guilty

2003-0713 - Sunday Star Times - Ellis not innocent
Letter to the Editor by Debbie Kean - Ellis has had numerous appeals, inquiries and the ministerial inquiry which is currently being denigrated by the very people who called for it some time ago. Many people believe that Ellis can never “prove his innocence” because he is not innocent

2003-0712 - The Listener - Reasonable doubts
Letter to the Editor by Jonathon Harper -  Justice Minister Phil Goff does not seem to appreciate that previous convictions in New Zealand have been overturned on appeal in New Zealand without the appearance of any new evidence

2003-0712 - The Press - Male teachers suffer legacy of radical feminism
Letter to the Editor by Malcolm Long - Until there is a commission of inquiry to correct the law relating to evidence in child sexual abuse trials and to set aside the travesty of justice that has been the fate of Peter Ellis, any person, particular a male, thinking of entering education, or just remaining within the profession, takes an extraordinary risk. Phil Goff needs to look beyond the reassurance of the inadequately narrow Eichelbaum Report to the real issue confidence in the justice system itself.

2003-0712 - Otago Daily Times - Peter Ellis
Letter to the Editor by Mel Tapp - I was amazed to see Ms George bring up the old bogey of the alleged sex rings operating in Dunedin and Christchurch. They have been long discredited. But they led to the mass hysteria that in turn led to the Christchurch creche case. I note she never mentions the fact that three women were also charged in this case and were rightly found innocent and compensated

2003-0712 - Dominion Post - Need for impartiality
Letter to the Editor by Martin Bond - What about... the legal fiasco of the Peter Ellis case in which Sir Thomas played a part? This case alone indicates the need to have an impartial and ultimate appeal court beyond the apparently closed loop of our own system.

2003-0711 - Otago Daily Times - Peter Ellis
Letter to the Editor by R E Mawson - In their zealous determination to prove their own corrupt theories of child abuse, the authorities involved themselves abused these poor children and their families - abuse which was psychological, rather than sexual, but still abuse

2003-0710 - Otago Daily Times - Enterprising MP given chance to shine
by Dene MacKenzie - In combining with Mrs Rich to petition for a pardon for convicted paedophile Peter Ellis, Dr Brash is showing he has a more human side than previously displayed as a central banker

2003-0707 - Waikato Times - Flawed Practices 
Letter to the Editor by Brian Robinson -
I am even more convinced of the urgent necessity for an inquiry into the creche case. I have no confidence that the flawed practices that resulted in a grave injustice to Peter Ellis have been discarded

2003-0707 - NZ Herald - Letter to the Editor - Wilkinson
by Alan Wilkinson -
There was no supporting evidence. Ellis was convicted solely on the accusations and the full context in which they were made was concealed from the jury. Until justice is finally done to Ellis the judicial system will rightly be held in disrepute

2003-0707 - NZ Herald - Letter to the Editor - Read
by John Read -
As an abuse survivor I would be more sympathetic to this obviously well-intentioned campaign if it showed equal interest in children. Where is the call for royal commissions into why the vast majority of abuse cases never even get reported, let alone make it to court, and into why our child abuse intervention and prevention services are so under-resourced? Add that to the petition and I might join in the hysteria and sign it, too

2003-0706 - Sunday Star Times - How to protest
by Lynley Hood, Katherine Rich, Don Brash – Those wishing to sign the petition can – a petition with wording identical to the first is still in circulation

2003-0706 - Sunday Star Times - Buck passing on Ellis 
by Richard Christie - So Frank Haden believes a commission of inquiry into the Ellis case is now almost inevitable (June 29). One ought not to lose sight of the tremendous damage this may cause to the health and well being of ordinary Christchurch citizens

2003-0706 - Sunday Star Times - Ellis Injustice
by Reg Nicholson - When Peter Ellis is found not guilty (as he will be), ..............then surely Frank Haden will be deserving of some national award for the way he has kept a case of gross injustice before our eyes.

2003-0705 - The Listener - That petition, Editorial
by Finlay MacDonald -
Along with several other practitioners of my trade, and a large number of far more eminent personages, I signed the petition. There are those who believe that this compromises some notion of editorial independence, but I would argue that the only bias it betrays is one in favour of examining all the facts pertaining to the Ellis case and clearing up once and for all a festering legal and moral sore. Obviously this is motivated by a deep suspicion that something has gone wrong; the petition is about Ellis's conviction being beyond reasonable doubt, and its signatories harbour very reasonable doubts that it was.

2003-0705 - Otago Daily Times - Promising information
by Jane Smith - National Business Review publisher Barry Colman says his $100,000 reward for new information on the Peter Ellis case has prompted two people with "potentially promising" information to come forward

2003-0705 - The Press - New leads on Ellis
by Anna Claridge - Two South Islanders closely involved in the Peter Ellis case have responded to a $100,000 reward offered by publisher Barry Colman for new information on the case

2003-0705 - The Press - Ellis case: Letter by G Dale
by G Dale -
What has to be realised here is that the children who were abused at the creche have fought their own battles with trauma.  Unlike the Ellis camp, they do not have limitless funds and the support of the gay community, providing a continuous stream of media hype

2003-0705 - The Press - Ellis case: Letter by J Doherty
by John Doherty - So prominent people have grave concerns on the Ellis verdict. I have even greater concerns that people would rather judge a person's guilt or innocence based on a book rather than a criminal trial

2003-0705 - Evening Standard - Ellis case clues     
Publisher Barry Colman says his offer of $100,000 for new information on the Peter Ellis case has prompted two promising leads

2003-0704 - Otago Daily Times - Peter Ellis
Letter to the Editor by Trevor Norton -
While reading Lynley Hood's book, A City Possessed , I noticed the recurring child abuse. It was persistent through the entire episode in Christchurch, and no-one appeared to comment, or even notice it

2003-0704 - Stuff - Reward offer in Ellis case prompts two leads
Publisher Barry Colman says his offer of $100,000 for new information on the Peter Ellis case has prompted two promising leads from people directly involved in the case. The two leads might be enough to justify the inquiry. Mr Colman said inquiries into the leads would be completed in about 10 days.

None of the callers had indicated any interest in the reward money and one had said they wanted to "get this off my conscience". "One of the reasons for making a money offer was that many of the people involved in the affair received $10,000 lump sum payments from the ACC for "suffering" during the episode. These people will now have no financial reason for not coming forward."

2003-0704 - NZ Herald - Letter to the Editor
by Ian Hassall - Much of the concern in the Ellis case appears to hinge on two points - the screening out of some children's testimony and the credibility of children's evidence in general...........There is a risk to children in the present debate of the clock being turned back to a time when they were disbelieved simply because they were children and effectively excluded from a justice system that failed to accommodate them. Abusers should not be allowed to feel safe in their activities and the children should not be denied the opportunity to escape.

2003-0703 - Dominion Post - An Open Letter to Phil Goff
by Chris Trotter – Dear Phil,  I can't say I'm surprised by your refusal to seek a royal commission of inquiry into the Peter Ellis case, but I am angry. You have a rare opportunity to right a terrible wrong _ and you should not refuse. Rather than vindicate people's faith in the democratic state's ability to call wayward institutions to account, you are deepening a growing disillusionment with a system whose first, last and eternal priority appears to many to be self-protection.

2003-0703 - Southland Times - Creche case 

Letter to the Editor by AJ Lemm - Not a scrap of factual evidence in this conviction proves Peter Ellis's guilt. Mr Goff has a hobby horse called Inflexible. The time has come for him to dismount gracefully and implement a full Commission of Inquiry

2003-0703 - Otago Daily Times - Peter Ellis     
Letter to the Editor by Suzanne George - Adolph Hitler was an author obsessed and able to incite mass hysteria. I strongly suggest the petition calling for a royal commission of inquiry into the Peter Ellis case falls into the same category

2003-0703 - Dominion Post - Tenuous and fashionable
Letter to the Editor by Martin Wilson - Peter Ellis' imprisonment appears to have been based upon hysteria as much as tenuous and fashionable (at the time) child sex abuse theories

2003-0702 - The Press - A truly political issue
by Nigel Hampton, QC - The Peter Ellis case has passed through, and is now well past, the judicial system. It is in the political arena. The Minister of Justice, Phil Goff, in taking the stance he has to the petition seeking a Royal Inquiry, abdicates his authority. He attempts to hide behind the judicial processes which have taken place, flawed as those processes are said to be in the petition, in Lynley Hood’s book, and as briefly argued below. The matter is no longer one for the judicial system. It is, properly, in the political arena. Historically, instances of injustice have been solved politically, the prime example being the Arthur Allan Thomas affair. The Minister Hides, as well, behind his call, which he repeats as a mantra, for fresh information, for new evidence

2003-0702 - The Press - Shortage of male teachers is here to stay
Letter to the Editor by G G Vince MacDonald - This shortage of male teachers is here to stay while good men remain vulnerable. An entrenched group within the profession encourages the suspicion. Peter Ellis is merely one case in point.

2003-0702 - NZ Herald - The Ellis case
Letter to the Editor by Sandra Coney -
I have been mystified as to how Lynley Hood's book "A City Possessed" has come to be seen as the key argument for Ellis' innocence. The book is highly manipulative in its use of material. Attention to the referencing for this book reveals a lamentable lack of rigour in the support which Hood provides for her thesis. For instance, the reference given

            Follow up correspondence:

2003-0704 - NZ Herald - The Ellis case
Letter to the Editor by Gordon Waugh -
The Ellis case is a copycat version of many other similar cases overseas, in which the evidence was produced by "expert interpretation" in a climate of hysteria and moral panic, but in which the convicted perpetrators have since been acquitted by impartial, reasoned examination in appellate courts. If Ms Coney can provide testable evidence to support her contention that the children were in fact abused, we would all like to see it so this matter can be put to bed

2003-0701 - Otago Daily Times - 1200 put name to Ellis inquiry petition
Petitions for a commission of inquiry into Peter Ellis' convictions, have attracted more than 1200 names, organiser Katherine Rich said last night. Mrs Rich, the national list MP who with fellow MP Don Brash orchestrated a high-profile petition presented to Justice Minister Phil Goff last week, said public pressure had dictated the need for a further petition

2003-0701 - Timaru Herald - Goff stubbornly blinkered on Ellis case
by Nick Lindo - The Peter Ellis saga seems to have reached an impasse. All sorts of distinguished people have now signed a petition, ........calling for a Royal Commission to inquire, once again, into the notorious, 1992 Christchurch Civic Creche case which put Peter Ellis, protesting vehemently his innocence, into prison for seven years. Mr Goff, the extraordinarily staunch, if not severely blinkered, Minister of Justice, as he has done in the face of other such recent attempts to clear Mr Ellis’s name, can repeat only, and endlessly, that unless “new evidence” be found he sees no reason why he should re-open the case.

2003-0701 - NZ Herald - Justice system failures must be rectified for Ellis' sake       
by Lynley Hood - The Herald editorial (28 July) backing the Minister of Justice's refusal to establish a royal commission of inquiry into the Christchurch civic creche case was misguided. In this case, the justice system has failed, and failed badly, and has been unable to self-correct. It convicted Peter Ellis and threw Christchurch into turmoil on the evidence of very young children, in the absence of corroborating evidence, and despite the great majority of parents with children at the creche finding nothing inappropriate in Ellis' behaviour. Until there is a full inquiry by an independent judge from outside the New Zealand jurisdiction, this case won't go away