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Peter Ellis (Peter Hugh McGregor Ellis) was born on 30 March, 1958 in Christchurch, New Zealand, is a Child care worker. Discover Peter Ellis's Biography, Age, Height, Physical Stats, Dating/Affairs, Family and career updates. Learn How rich is He in this year and how He spends money? Also learn how He earned most of networth at the age of 61 years old?

Popular As Peter Hugh McGregor Ellis
Occupation Child care worker
Age 61 years old
Zodiac Sign Aries
Born 30 March 1958
Birthday 30 March
Birthplace Christchurch, New Zealand
Date of death September 4, 2019
Died Place N/A
Nationality New Zealand

We recommend you to check the complete list of Famous People born on 30 March. He is a member of famous with the age 61 years old group.

Peter Ellis Height, Weight & Measurements

At 61 years old, Peter Ellis height not available right now. We will update Peter Ellis's Height, weight, Body Measurements, Eye Color, Hair Color, Shoe & Dress size soon as possible.

Physical Status
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Dating & Relationship status

He is currently single. He is not dating anyone. We don't have much information about He's past relationship and any previous engaged. According to our Database, He has no children.

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Peter Ellis Net Worth

His net worth has been growing significantly in 2020-2021. So, how much is Peter Ellis worth at the age of 61 years old? Peter Ellis’s income source is mostly from being a successful . He is from New Zealand. We have estimated Peter Ellis's net worth, money, salary, income, and assets.

Net Worth in 2021 $1 Million - $5 Million
Salary in 2020 Under Review
Net Worth in 2019 Pending
Salary in 2019 Under Review
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Source of Income

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In July 2019, Ellis was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He died on 4 September 2019 while appealing his conviction at the age of 61.

Seventeen days later, a Christchurch mother rang Gaye Davidson, the supervisor at the Civic Creche to make the first complaint about Peter Ellis. When making his appeal to the Supreme Court announced in July 2019, Ellis' former lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, said he wants the Supreme Court to take the moral panic of the '90s into account in its decision-making.

New Zealand First MP Rana Waitai, who was a former police commander with 31 years’ experience, said "If half of what was on the (20/20) programme is true, Peter Ellis must immediately be released and hugely compensated for the devastation that has been done to his life."

On 25 July 2019, Ellis, aged 61, lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court. However, by this time he had been diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer and was not expected to live. In August, the Supreme Court said it would consider hearing Ellis' appeal even if he died before the hearing date, 11 November. He died on 4 September, 2019 before the hearing began.

Prior to this hearing which began on 14 November 2019, courts in Commonwealth countries, including New Zealand, have traditionally ruled that an individual's interest in any judicial hearing ends if they die. On Ellis' behalf, lawyer Robert Harrison said the appeal should proceed because it was an issue of public importance and addressed a systemic issue in the justice system. Justice Joe Williams noted "this a very western idea that on demise you have nothing to protect" pointing out that tikanga Māori held that "an ancestor has even more reputation to protect". He adjourned the hearing for five weeks so that both sides could make new submissions addressing tikanga issues in the new year.


A former National Party leader, Don Brash, was drawn to the controversy after reading Hood’s book. He commented: “I was stunned at how compelling a case it made. The Peter Ellis case is a serious miscarriage of justice and I am utterly astonished [his conviction] hasn’t been overturned. It is implausible to believe four women and one man could do this in a busy creche.” In 2006, Brash cited the case when supporting calls for an independent body investigating miscarriages of justice in New Zealand. On 17 December 2014, Brash and author Lynley Hood again called for a review of the case by way of an independent inquiry led by an authority from outside New Zealand. The appeal was made to Amy Adams, the newly appointed Minister of Justice for the National Party-led government returned in the 2014 General Election.


Ellis carried out his community service at the Christchurch Civic Creche. His supervisor, Dora Reinfeld, later reported that "Peter ... provided some hilarious puppetry shows – one of which we had to abandon as staff and children 'got out of hand'". Ellis became a relieving worker, and Reinfeld's next monthly report said: "Peter Ellis has fitted in extremely well and puts lots of energy into programme planning. Fantastic team spirit." Ellis's pre-sentencing report said, "The overall picture gained of Peter Ellis is that of an outgoing, uninhibited, unconventional person given to putting plenty of enthusiasm and energy into his work and social activities, sometimes to the point of being risqué and outrageous."

According to Greg Newbold, senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Canterbury, even cynical journalists like Frank Haden, David McLoughlin, Melanie Reid, George Balani, and Martin van Beynen – the only journalist to have sat right through the trial – agree that Ellis is not guilty. Newbold notes that "it was a politician who saved Arthur Allan Thomas, but the Ellis case is different from Thomas’s, because Ellis lacks government support." In 2000 (after Ellis' failed appeals) he wrote: "at the moment the judiciary is turning away from the plight of a man impugned by some of the most absurd testimony ever heard in a New Zealand court."


In 2011, Ellis announced his intention to lodge a fourth petition to the Governor General.


In December 2007 University of Otago psychologist Harlene Hayne conducted research which compared the standard of interviews conducted in the Ellis case with those of the Kelly Michaels case in the United States. Empirical analysis allowed Hayne to conclude that 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," and that, contrary to Eichelbaum's conclusions, "the standard of the questions in Ellis was not substantially better than those in Michaels." Francis's articles and Hayne's research were cited in January 2008 by Ellis's counsel when making a renewed request that the Ministry of Justice establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the case, but Associate Justice Minister Rick Barker rejected this approach in March 2008. A further call for a Commission of Inquiry was made by former National MPs Katherine Rich and Don Brash and author Lynley Hood in November 2008, and the new Minister of Justice Simon Power said that the government would reconsider the issue. He later declined their request for an inquiry, on the grounds that Ellis still held the right of appeal to the Privy Council and an inquiry therefore could not achieve finality.

In late 2007 and January 2008, three articles on the Ellis case were published in The New Zealand Law Journal. These included "New Evidence in the Peter Ellis Case" by researcher Ross Francis. Francis concluded that despite two appeal hearings, three applications for a pardon, a ministerial inquiry, and a parliamentary inquiry, questions about the reliability of Ellis' convictions remain. He wrote: "Whilst it may appear that the case has been examined thoroughly, the facts show otherwise. The Court of Appeal did not review all the available evidence and, at the second hearing, failed to give any weight to the expert opinions." The journal review prompted Sir Thomas Thorp to comment that the articles "must add to concerns expressed previously that that case may have gone awry".


In August 2005, Parliament's justice and electoral select committee reported on two petitions relating to the Ellis case. The committee had several concerns with the way the case was prosecuted. It recommended several changes, although it acknowledged that changes had already been made to the way that children were now interviewed. It also suggested that the testimony of expert prosecution witness Karen Zelas would not be permitted if it were proffered now. The committee noted that "The operation of the legal system in respect of this case did not inspire adequate public confidence in the operation of the legal system. A justice system should lead to certainty. In this case it seemed to increase the sense of uncertainty." However, the committee rejected the petitioners' call for a commission of inquiry, concluding that it was not practical to hold such an inquiry.


In June 2003, two petitions called for a royal commission of inquiry into the case. The first, organised by then National Party leader Don Brash and MP Katherine Rich, had 140 highly prominent signatories. They included two former prime ministers (David Lange and Mike Moore), four former Cabinet ministers, 26 MPs, a retired High Court Judge (Laurence Greig), a retired District Court Judge, 12 law professors, 12 Queen's Counsel, former Auckland police chief Bryan Rowe, historian Michael King, psychology professors, professors from other disciplines, lawyers, child protection workers, psychologists, social workers, therapists and counsellors.


Released in March 2001, Eichelbaum's inquiry concluded that the interviews were of good quality overall, and that though excessive questioning by some parents could have led to some contamination, this would not have been sufficient to affect the convictions. Eichelbaum did not say how he determined the children's evidence to be reliable.

In 2001 Lynley Hood published a 616 page book about the case and the moral panic of sexual abuse within New Zealand at that time. In 2002 A City Possessed won the top prize for non-fiction and for readers' choice in the New Zealand Book Awards. As Hood tells it, fear and anxiety about ritual abuse began in childcare facilities overseas in the early 1980s. Given the number of sex abuse scenarios in Christchurch in the 1980s such as "the Glenelg Health Camp, Ward 24, and the Great Child Pornography fiascos – it was probable that some sort of panic would break out in Christchurch." Hood argued that the professional careers of experts benefited from the case while more than 100 children were subjected to unpleasant, repetitive and psychologically dangerous procedures for no good reason.


Ellis refused to attend parole board hearings while in prison because he would have to confess to the crimes in order to argue for early release. He was released in February 2000 after serving seven years in prison. Two books and numerous articles have been written about the case. After his release, Ellis continued campaigning to clear his name. In 2019, nineteen years after he was released, he appealed to the Supreme Court to have his conviction overturned, but died of cancer before the appeal could be heard.

In March 2000, then Minister of Justice Phil Goff established a ministerial inquiry into the conduct of the interviews, headed by Sir Thomas Eichelbaum. This was undertaken in response to Justice Thorp's report and ongoing concerns over the reliability of the children's evidence. In a later submission, Ministry officials stated that the Ministerial Inquiry was "intended to address specific areas of concern that might not have been seen to have been fully resolved by the Court of Appeal."


In 1999, a retired High Court judge, Sir Thomas Thorp, was commissioned by the Ministry of Justice to examine a petition for the royal prerogative of mercy lodged by Ellis's counsel, Judith Ablett-Kerr QC. She commissioned and supplied reports by experts that were based on selective information, for Thorp to consider. Despite the limitations of the reports, Thorp considered they raised serious concerns that should be investigated further. He wrote that the interview transcripts revealed that on more than one occasion, one child claimed to have seen serious abuse committed against another child, but the second child denied anything happened. Thorp said there was no evidence that the interviewers or the police or did any cross checking before presenting abuse allegations to the jury. He was also concerned that the more bizarre allegations made by children were not put before the jury, arguing that "the jury had to see that the children were capable of outrageous and fanciful allegation".


In November 1998, Ellis presented a second petition to the Governor General seeking a Royal Commission on Inquiry into his case, and either a free pardon or for the whole case to be referred back to the Court of Appeal. The Secretary for Justice sought advice from Sir Thomas Thorp on the second petition. His advice concluded that the terms of reference should be expanded. In 1999 the Ellis case was referred to the Court of Appeal for a second time. Judith Ablett-Kerr, QC, appeared as counsel for Ellis, and Simon France for the Crown. Ablett-Kerr argued emphatically that the children's evidence had been contaminated by parental questioning and presented updated opinions on the dangers of multiple interviews, using anatomically correct dolls and suggestive questioning.


A number of irregularities in the trial were publicised in a TV3 20/20 television programme which aired on 16 November 1997. The programme alleged that the jury foreman had been the celebrant at the wedding of the Crown Prosecutor Brent Stanaway 15 years earlier. It was also alleged that a female juror had had a sexual relationship with a co-worker of the mother of one of the children involved. The programme also put forward statements that most of the children who made allegations of sexual abuse withdrew their accusations at various times during proceedings but that social workers conducting the interviews treated this as a symptom of ‘denial’.

The 20/20 programme also claimed the main investigating detective, Colin Eade, had a history of mental health problems. Eade told interviewer Melanie Reid he was "burnt out" before the case started and ‘beyond repair’ by the time it was over. He left the police force in 1994 suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. In an interview with Sean Plunkett on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report on 20 November, 1997, Eade admitted that after the trial he had sexual relationships with two of the mothers involved in the case and that he had propositioned another mother during the course of the investigation when he was drunk.


In the end, the Accident Compensation Corporation, ACC, paid more than $500,000 to about 40 parents of Civic Creche children. Generally parents received a standard $10,000, "but in cases where Ellis faced multiple charges relating to a single child, some parents claimed for each alleged incident of abuse" (McLoughlin, 1996). One child's parents allegedly claimed five payments, while another claimed four. According to North and South Magazine, "ACC didn't require a conviction before paying out. It paid up without so much as charges being laid in respect of some allegations. The police even wrote letters to ACC supporting compensation claims."


Stephen J. Ceci, a psychologist at of Cornell University and an expert in children's suggestibility and children's courtroom testimony, also studied transcripts of many of the children's evidential interviews. In July 1995 he said the interviews "were not conducted in accordance with currently understood interviewing principles." According to Ceci, it is impossible to distinguish between accurate and inaccurate allegations when children are suggestively and repeatedly interviewed over a long period.


In 1994, Ellis took his case to the Court of Appeal of New Zealand which quashed convictions on three of the charges but upheld the sentence. His conviction and sentence were upheld in his second appearance before the Court of Appeal in October 1999. In March 2000, former Chief Justice Sir Thomas Eichelbaum was appointed to conduct a ministerial inquiry reviewing the children's evidence. His report upheld the guilty verdicts. The same month Governor-General Sir Michael Hardie Boys rejected Ellis' third bid for pardon on the advice of Justice Minister Phil Goff, who was satisfied with Eichelbaum's finding that Ellis had failed to prove his convictions were unsafe.

The case entered the Court of Appeal in July 1994 led by Graham Panckhurst QC. A key aspect of the appeal was that the seven children, whose evidence the jury accepted, had named 21 other victims – either as observers or participants. None of those 21 children confirmed any of the allegations.


In June 1993, Ellis was convicted of 16 counts of sexual offences involving seven children. The charges on which he was found guilty were that he had urinated on two children, made one masturbate him, put his penis in the mouths of three of them, engaged in indecent touching of three, and put his penis or an unknown associate's penis against the vagina or anus of three. The following year he was acquitted of three charges involving the oldest complainant, who retracted her allegations and admitted her original statement was what her mother told her to say.


Smart's report was completed in July 1992 and a copy was given to police. Detectives said her report was central to their decision to investigate four of Ellis's female colleagues at the creche. Their houses were searched for everything from pornography to babies bodies. Nothing was found. Ellis' mother was suspected of being involved and accused of administering drugs to the children.

The four female staff members were arrested on 1 October 1992 amid considerable televised publicity. At depositions they faced 15 charges that included sexual violation, indecent assault and one charge of performing an indecent act (having sex with Ellis) in a public place. The charges were subsequently dropped when Judge Williamson concluded the publicity meant their chances of a fair trial would be prejudiced by their association with Ellis. Although the charges were dropped, their careers were ruined.

The police arrested Ellis on 30 March 1992, charging him with the first of what would eventually be 45 counts of sexually abusing 20 different children at the creche. By the time the case went to trial, the Crown had reduced the number of charges to 28, involving 13 complainants. Some charges were dropped because the crown prosecutor, Brent Stanaway, did not want to put the more bizarre claims made by some of the children before a conservative Christchurch jury.

Psychiatrist Karen Zelas was the prosecution's expert witness. She also supervised the social workers conducting the children's interviews and advised the police about how they should conduct their investigation. She testified that the complainants were credible and their behaviour was consistent with sexual abuse. However, in August 1992, she wrote to the police saying that two of the complainants had undergone "highly leading questioning" from their parents. Her letter was not disclosed to Ellis's defence, and Zelas did not mention any concerns about the two children's credibility at trial.

On 3 September 1992, following discussions between the City Council, the Ministry of Education and police, the Civic Creche was closed. In March 1995, the four female employees and six other former staff who had also lost their jobs were awarded $1 million by the Employment Court. This was later reduced to $170,000 by the Court of Appeal in September 1996.


A few months later, in November 1991, the mother alleged that her son said he "didn't like Peter's black penis". His mother, who had written a handbook on sexual abuse, concluded her son had been sexually interfered with. She made a complaint to the creche in November 1991. After a brief investigation, the police decided there was no case to answer, but Ellis was suspended from work. The mother then withdrew her son from the creche and enrolled him into a different Christchurch day care centre. Shortly thereafter, she alleged a male worker at this second creche had also abused her son. The police investigated and again found no evidence to support the allegation.

From September 1991 (two months before the first allegation against Ellis), there was "continuous publicity of sexual abuse and ritual abuse of children in the local press or in national media." On 4 September 1991, a Wellington sex abuse counsellor, Anne-Marie Stapp, told the Christchurch daily, The Press, that "New Zealand was fast approaching the level of ritual abuse awareness found in the United States." North and South Magazine reported that it was common knowledge around town that "various Christchurch police officers were hunting for a near mythical pornography-paedophile ring alleged to involve judges, Freemasons and prominent businessmen, though it was never found." On 3 November 1991 the Sunday News quoted the police as saying that "Satanism was rampant in New Zealand and linked to child pornography."

At least 118 children were interviewed as part of the second investigation into allegations of sexual abuse. Social Welfare psychologist, Sue Sidey, conducted most of the evidential child interviews used at the trial, although she had no formal qualifications in child psychology In December 1991, Sidey conducted a number of interviews with children which failed to turn up any statements consistent with abuse. Nevertheless, that month, she made a statement that “Peter Ellis is not a suitable person for a child centre” - before any formal allegations of abuse came to light.


Smart suggested that female staff may have been involved with abuse at the Civic Creche and her report helped convince investigating officers of the women's guilt. She quoted research by the New Hampshire sociologist David Finkelhor, whose 1987 book, Nursery Crimes, became the source for American believers in ritual abuse occurring in creches. Finkelhor's work has since been discredited.


Barristers Rob Harrison and Siobhan McNulty represented Ellis; Brent Stanaway and Chris Lange appeared for the Crown. The offences were alleged to have taken place at unspecified times and dates between 1 May 1986 (four months before Ellis started work at the creche) and 1 October 1992 (11 months after he left the creche, and a month after the creche was closed)." (Hood, 2001) Defence counsel, Rob Harrison, wanted the jury to see the children's videotaped testimony containing the bizarre allegations as "he believed they would cast reasonable doubt on the more credible testimony." However, Justice Williamson ruled that these tapes were not relevant. In A City Possessed, Lynley Hood observed: "[Judge] Williamson's rulings before and during the trial meant Ellis' lawyer Rob Harrison was effectively hamstrung - the jury did not get to hear the most bizarre of the children's allegations, but did learn of the highly prejudicial but irrelevant conversations Ellis had about unusual sexual practices between consenting adults."


In the years preceding the first allegation of abuse against Ellis, there had been a number of high profile child abuse cases in Christchurch involving "highly suspect interviews of children", "mistaken mass diagnosis of children" and other "highly questionable claims". The case has also been linked with the day-care sex-abuse hysteria, a moral panic that originated out of California in 1982 and that existed throughout the 1980s. It has also been cited as a major cause in the decline in the number of male teachers in New Zealand schools.


The Ellis case was one of several similar high profile child abuse cases around the world in the 1980s and early 1990s. It has been mentioned as a cause in the decline in the number of male teachers in New Zealand schools.


Ellis was the eldest of four children. His parents were teachers who separated when he was nine. He left school in 1975 to take up tobacco picking in Motueka. After two years overseas, he returned to New Zealand. He then had a part-time job in a bakery in the 1980s which eventually became full-time. When he left this job and applied for unemployment benefits, authorities discovered he had received dole payments to which he was not entitled. He was prosecuted and convicted in 1986 of "misleading a social welfare officer" and sentenced to 80 hours community service.


Peter Hugh McGregor Ellis (30 March 1958 – 4 September 2019) was a New Zealand child care worker who was convicted of child sexual abuse. He was at the centre of one of the country's most enduring judicial controversies, after being found guilty in June 1993 in the High Court of New Zealand on 16 counts of sexual offences involving children in his care at the Christchurch Civic Creche and sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment. He maintained his innocence until his death 26 years later and was supported by many New Zealanders in his attempts to overturn his convictions. Concerns about the reliability of the convictions centred on lurid stories told by many of the children and the interview techniques used to obtain their testimony.