Police spend on Gloriavale ticks up

Police spend on Gloriavale ticks up

| Greymouth Star | Laura Mills |
Subscription Only

Police have spent over a quarter of a million dollars on Gloriavale, and are one of just 10 Government agencies involved in the under-pressure community at Lake Haupiri.

The Greymouth Star revealed last month the likes of the police, Health NZ and Oranga Tamariki have teams working at the 600-strong community each week.

Some have now revealed more information, under the Official Information Act, including police who have a current investigation into Gloriavale.

In the past four years, it has spent $252,080 — that does not include staff wages. It does include travel, accommodation and legal fees.

It also revealed its Police Crime Investigation Branch (CIB) manages the Gloriavale work.

“There are several investigations arising from the Gloriavale Christian Community. At this time there is no timeframe for when the current matters … will be concluded, however it is anticipated going forward that allegations from members and ex-members of the Community will continue to be brought to the attention of Police,” it said in a statement.

Also involved is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which has one Wellington-based staff member leading its engagement with other government departments regarding the Gloriavale community in India. Other staff members, including two based in New Zealand’s High Commission in New Delhi, as well as senior managers, have also supported this process in recent months.

The Department of Internal Affairs is investigating its charitable status.

Oranga Tamariki deputy chief executive service delivery Rachel Leota, said staff made regular visits.

“Staff have visited to complete risk assessments, implement and monitor safety plans, and to provide mentoring support. We have also engaged with the community by attending child protection lead meetings, and to meet with leaders to hold discussions about children and women’s rights, education provision and training needs.”

Staff also received or generate reports of concerns relating to Gloriavale.

“The reports of concerns have been both historic and recent in nature, and relate to concerns including family harm, wellbeing, care and protection and offending behaviour.”

There is one Oranga Tamariki social worker based at the Greymouth site who is the point of contact for the Gloriavale community. This social worker is supported by other staff based both at that site and at the regional office.

“We are currently involved in two investigations.”

The Education Review Office said since its 2020 review of the school, it became aware of concerns.

This prompted a special review of education provision in the community in 2023.

“ERO is undertaking a further review of Gloriavale this year. Preparation for this is under way,” director schools Shelley Booysen, said.

The Ministry of Social development regional commissioner Craig Churchill said it had a range of support.

“They may include helping people into work, with housing and through hardship grants.”

Health NZ said it had seven clinical staff from Te N›kau Health Centre who visited Gloriavale every three to four weeks.

“Health NZ Te Tai o Poutini West Coast does not see this presence changing and these visits will continue to be part of our normal primary and community response to our enrolled population.”