5 Key Outcomes Imposed on Gloriavale

5 Key Outcomes Imposed on Gloriavale

Opinion piece: Liz Gregory.

(Thoughts, opinions and views expressed here belong to Liz Gregory and may or may not represent the views of all leavers or current members).

On September 2022, the Cabinet Social Wellbeing Committee directed Government Agencies to ensure people at Gloriavale were living under five minimum conditions. Craig Churchill, a Public Services Commissioner was put in charge of ensuring that Government agencies (and a couple of non-Government agencies) meet with each other regularly and write formal reports every 6-8 weeks that would be seen by Cabinet. It is expected they will oversee Gloriavale’s activities for at least 12 months.

5 key outcomes for Gloriavale

  1. Work at Gloriavale is undertaken by community members without the threat of penalty (For example, food being withheld, or members being berated at public meetings.)
  2. Gloriavale residents receive at least minimum legal entitlements for their work.
  3. Children have their rights upheld, including receiving an education and not being exploited for commerical gain
  4. There is no tolerance for any form of avoidable serious harm to anyone at Gloriavale, especially children, including physical and sexual abuse. And where it does occur it is reported and dealt with through the criminal justice system and other relevant agency responses
  5. Those who want to leave Gloriavale can do so freely, with appropriate support to help them (re) integrate into society

Opinion Time

These are all wonderful goals. But I wonder how the outcomes will be measured? And who will measure the success? And why aren’t leavers or people part of the support network invited to participate in information sharing? And what happens if Gloriavale doesn’t (or can’t) come to the party? What will happen to them?

At the end of the day, this shows that the Government recognises there are VERY serious concerns about Gloriavale’s behaviour. But is it enough of an arm-twist to make them change their long-held beliefs and practices?

Time will tell.

But according to the research I’ve done on similar groups, time usually just gives them more time to come up with “paperwork” and “promises”, that in the past have been proven to be “false” and “fictional”.

And that matters. Because there are people in there who inch closer to despair each day and more talk-fests only raises their hopes of liberation – to find they are dashed. Again.

There is a Biblical proverb that is worth contemplating, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” Proverbs 13:12.

Will this group be a life-giver?