Peter Ellis injustice swept under Government carpet

I don’t know much about the specific legal arguments behind the Government ruling out an independent inquiry into the Peter Ellis case but it appears that again the easy option is to sweep it under a carpet and try to forget it ever happened.

There’s serious question marks over the whole case that dates back to 1993. To learn properly from it requires an honest and thorough inquiry into what went wrong.

Sad to see Justice Minister Amy Adams denying that opportunity.

It looks like another case of the system protecting major botch ups from the scrutiny they deserve and should get.

Details from Stuff: Government declines inquiry into convictions of Peter Ellis

The Government has ruled against an independent inquiry into the sexual assault convictions of Peter Ellis.

Justice Minister Amy Adams has declined a request from supporters of Ellis for a commission of inquiry, saying it did not contain new evidence and an inquiry would not determine matters of guilt.

The push for an inquiry was led by former National Party leader Don Brash, who along with Dunedin author Lynley Hood, wrote to Adams in December last year, calling for an investigation.

Ellis was convicted on 13 charges of abusing children in his care at the Christchurch Civic Creche, in 1993. He was sentenced to ten years imprisonment.

Since then, his convictions have been the subject of extensive consideration including two appeals, an inquiry by former Chief Justice Sir Thomas Eichelbaum, and a 2003 petition to Parliament. In 2008, a similar request for a Commission of Inquiry was made to and rejected by former Justice Minister Simon Power.

Adams said today she had declined the request, because the Inquiries Act could not be used to determine someone’s guilt. Nor had Ellis exhausted all of his appeal rights within the judicial system.

“Furthermore, the request is almost identical to the one made to former Justice Minister Power, and contains no new evidence. I’m not satisfied there is any new information or development that warrants reconsideration of Mr Power’s decision,” she said.

Sad  to see that one refusal to investigate properly is used an excuse to refuse another.

In their letter, Brash and Hood wrote in the history of New Zealand criminal justice, “no petition to Parliament has been supported by such a weight of political, legal and scholarly authority as the 2003 petition calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry”.

It also cited a “wave of child abuse hysteria that swept the western world in the 1990s”.

It remains a stain on our policing and judicial systems if it remains undealt with.

Of all the controversial historical cases I see the least dispute over the Ellis case, with little sign of claims that the system got it right.

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  1. kittycatkin

     /  21st April 2015

    It’s one of the most appalling miscarriages of justice ever. He was the victim of the hysteria of the era, How anyone could be stupid enough to believe that he did it when they read the accusations is extraordinary.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  21st April 2015

      A bunch of political feminists were involved in this disgraceful injustice, both originally and perpetuating it from powerful positions in Government and the justice bureaucracy.

  2. Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae

     /  21st April 2015

    As reported on the ‘’ website in relation to the Christchurch Civic Creche case:

    ‘There were claims of sodomy, oral sex, penetration with fingers and sticks, rape, drinking urine, locking children in cages and suspending them in the roof, and finally, an alleged murder-sacrifice of a young boy known as Andrew. These incidents were said to have taken place in tunnels, rooftops, private houses, the Park Royal Hotel and cemeteries.’

    Ellis denied each allegation as it arose.

  3. I think the key words in this post were “I don’t know much about the specific legal arguments behind the Government ruling out an independent inquiry into the Peter Ellis case but…” I’ll offer an uninformed opinion that its all a conspiracy anyway.

    • Maybe I didn’t word that well.

      The Justice Minister may (or may not) have a valid legal reason to back this decision, but morally it stinks and it’s gutless.

      • Sponge

         /  23rd April 2015

        I think he is innocent (I have not followed the case especially closely though) but if there is a legal framework that Adams has to follow then she MUST follow it. The alternative is the government of the day overruling the courts based on public opinion. Who thinks that is a good idea.

  4. Concerned Kiwi

     /  22nd April 2015

    The influence of dykes and feminists . . . typical of the government of the day.

  5. kittycatkin

     /  23rd April 2015

    The dead child’s name seems to change-how many children did he kill ? Careless of the parents to fail to notice that their child/ren had been squashed on the road, and of the driver/s who failed to stop and the other driver/s who saw children being forced to run through traffic until one at least was killed and said nothing. Nobody seems to have equated the death/s with obvious recent digging in the creche grounds, either.

    I can’t see how anyone could push burning paper up a bum-this seems a physical impossibilty. I seem to remember that he supposedly sodomised something like 20 children in 20 minutes-anyway, whatever the number was,it was another physical impossibilty.

    I had very real doubts before I read the book . Like almost everyone else, I did believe that he was a child-molester at first….until I heard the charges. And the women being acquitted was for me and everyone who talked about it the thing that decided us in Peter Ellis’s favour. Either they were all guilty or nobody was.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  23rd April 2015

      There was never any doubt in my mind that the women were falsely accused as I knew most of them personally and my wife worked with them for years. The comments the judge made about them in grudgingly dismissing charges against them were a disgrace to his profession.

      Incidentally, the same judge helped convict David Bain – in both cases by denying admission to evidence favourable to the defence.


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