Dairy Exporter – Discipline and work reward faith-based community
By Anne Lee – Dairy Exporter – 01/02/2011
A reclusive religious group which moved to the West Coast bush from North Canterbury 20 years ago has carved out an impressive dairying enterprise to support its self-contained community of 450, Anne Lee reports.
They may shun the trappings of the modern world, but the Gloriavale Christian Community tucked away deep in the heart of the West Coast are smart business operators, especially when it comes to their extensive dairy
Gloriavale is no small, backwater group. After a visitor negotiates the densely bushclad drive along winding gravel roads, there’s sprawling farmland dotted with substantial buildings on the banks of Lake
At around 450, the population rivals many New Zealand small rural towns and its numerous, sizeable enterprises have become important to the West Coast regional economy.
Here the women and girls dress similarly in blue, long, modest dresses with headscarves drawing back their long hair. The men are clad in blue as well, with buttoned-up tieless shirts and dark blue trousers.
It would be easy to assume from their appearance and the traditionalist gender-based segmentation of jobs in the community that the tightly bound, deeply religious group would be naive to the ways of the business world and lean heavily on practices of old. On the contrary, they have embraced technology across all aspects of their lives and are keenly focused on costs and profit.