The Christchurch Civic Creche Case

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Three News
December 15 2008; 12:11

Govt considering request for Peter Ellis commission of inquiry

Peter Ellis

Justice Minister Simon Power is considering yet another request for a commission of inquiry into the case of convicted Christchurch childcare worker Peter Ellis.

A spokesman for Mr Power today told NZPA the minister had received a letter requesting the inquiry from former National MPs Don Brash and Katherine Rich and author Lynley Hood, who wrote a book pointing out flaws in the police investigation and case.

All have previously put their names to earlier calls -- the most recent of which was knocked back by former Associate Justice Minister Rick Barker in May.

Mr Power's spokesman said the minister was approaching the issue with an open mind.

He intended to seek a briefing from officials and then consider the letter.

Ellis was convicted in 1993 of sexually molesting children at the Christchurch Civic Creche where he worked.

One of the seven pre-schoolers he was found guilty of abusing later retracted the allegations and three of Ellis' convictions were quashed.

Fresh doubts about the evidential interviews of children in the case were cast last year in research findings by Otago University academic Professor Harlene Hayne.

She said there was a "strong risk" that the evidence of children who told of sexual abuse by Ellis was contaminated by the way the interviews were carried out.

She urged the courts to consider the case again.