Peter Ellis Meeting

Ross Francis made this Official Information request to Ministry of Justice

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From: Ross Francis

Dear Ministry of Justice,

I have the following request to assist me with my research into the Peter Ellis case.

In March 2001, Sir Thomas Eichelbaum, Phil Goff and officials from the Justice Ministry met to discuss Sir Thomas’ report. During the meeting, it appears someone suggested that the terms of reference for the ministerial inquiry may have been “too narrow.” Someone talked about Justice Neil Williamson, the presiding judge at Ellis’ trial. Williamson was referred to as an “exceptional criminal law Judge” and “NZs (sic) leading trial Judge”. Why he was mentioned is unclear. The nomination of experts was discussed. Experts were nominated by “individuals who were slanted.” Towards the end of the meeting, someone posed a question that potentially implicated all workers at the Civic Creche. “How would he [Ellis] have done this [without] crèche members knowing?”

According to records held by the Ministry, who were the officials who attended that meeting, and who recorded notes of the meeting? Who suggested the ministerial inquiry’s terms of reference may have been too narrow? Who referred to Justice Williamson as an “exceptional criminal law Judge” and “NZs (sic) leading trial Judge”? Could an official have spoken so glowingly of the Ellis trial judge? Who said that experts were nominated by “individuals who were slanted”, and who were the individuals referred to? Who suggested that other creche workers may have perverted the course of justice, and what was the response to the question re how Ellis acted without other creche workers knowing?

According to records held by the Ministry, what actions were undertaken by officials to ensure the ministerial inquiry complied with the requirements of natural justice? Please provide me with all records held by the Ministry about this matter, including all communication about officials wanting to treat Mr Ellis fairly.

What changes, if any, did Dr Sas make to her draft report? Please provide me with a copy of all changes, and a copy of Judith Ablett Kerr’s comments about the experts' reports.

Yours faithfully,

Ross Francis

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From: correspondence, official
Ministry of Justice

Good morning Mr Francis,

Acknowledging receipt of your OIA request for information relating to the Peter Ellis case.

We have passed this to the relevant business unit and you can expect a response on or before 28 February 2019.

Kind regards,

Alex Pickard
Advisor | Official Correspondence
Communications
Ministry of Justice | Tāhū o te Ture

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