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"Time To Move On"

Media Release
Hon Roger McClay
Commissioner for Children 13 March 2001

"TIME TO MOVE ON"

"It is my absolute hope that the children and families who have so long been the victims of the Christchurch Civic Creche case will now be allowed to get on with their lives," said the Commissioner for Children, Roger McClay, today following the release of the Report of the Ministerial Inquiry conducted by Sir Thomas Eichelbaum.

"For too long New Zealand has witnessed a remarkably effective media campaign which has poured doubt on the word of the children abused and molested at the Christchurch Civic Creche by Peter Ellis. During this time parents, children, interviewers and police were bound by court process and the requirements of confidentiality to stay out of the spotlight."

As Sir Thomas says, "What must be clear is that Mr Ellis’ case has had the most thorough examination possible. It should now be allowed to rest."

"Never has anyone’s plea been more investigated than that of Ellis," said Roger McClay. He went on to say that, "A jury of 12 people saw and heard the evidence in the High Court and found Ellis guilty. The Court of Appeal considered the matter twice (three Judges and then five Judges) and confirmed he was guilty. This Ministerial Inquiry examined the case and further confirmed he was guilty. Ellis had one of the best criminal defence lawyers in New Zealand. He was still found guilty.

Quite frankly, I believe and trust 12 Jurors, eight Judges and our children, before I trust or believe paedophiles.

This is a thorough and compelling report. It has investigated everything which could have possibly given rise to doubts about the reliability of the children’s evidence. Ellis’ conviction was not rendered unsafe.

Sir Thomas has taken absolute and extreme care to ensure this whole inquiry has integrity and credibility.

So it is time to side now with our children. We should not, as a society ignore the lives of the more than 200 children who attended the creche during the terrible time of Ellis’ employment there.

It is time to stop contradicting the verdict of the High Court, two Court of Appeal hearings and now this Ministerial Inquiry.

It is time for the protracted anguish of the children to cease.

It is time to reassure our children that we believe them, and that as a society we aim to protect them from paedophiles and molesters.

It is time for child molesters to get the message that most New Zealanders will stand between them and our children.

It is time to acknowledge the excellent job done by our agencies in this case.

The Department of Child, Youth and Family Services and the Police can be proud of their performance in the pursuit of justice for our children.

It is time to move on."


ENDS

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