Charities Services delays decision on re-investigation



On the 8th of March, following on from the Gloriavale Employment Court hearing, the Gloriavale Leavers’ Support Trust again renewed calls for the Christian Church Community Trust at Gloriavale to be investigated.  Read more here.

On 6th April 2022 we received a letter stating that the Charities Services had carefully considered our request, however they “consider that the court is the best place to make a finding on the evidence that it has heard… If there is anything in the court’s decision that raises concerns in terms of the Trust’s compliance with the Charities Act 2005 we will consider reinvestigating further.”

I guess it’s a pragmatic decision. But it makes me really concerned that a body like the Charities Services is going to “wait and see” if they are directed by the courts to take another look. We believe there is more than enough evidence to be concerned about the Trust’s role. But there has to be a willingness to see the dots and how they all line up.

Charities Services says they are “happy to review and assess any information that your charity provides to us that falls within our mandate under the Act.”

But we find it a bit tiresome. It’s not our job to be the regulatory watchdogs of Gloriavale. We delivered hundreds of pages to the Charities Services over a 3 year period – with concerning information on each page. It was plain as day to us how the dots all lined up and pointed to the Trust and their Management. If Charities Services can’t make the link to the Christian Community Trust, then all we can do is throw our hands in the air. For whatever reason they don’t appear to want to touch this one.

Instead, we will just get on with doing what we do best.

We are so busy taken up with assisting and encouraging leavers to join the Royal Commission, speak to Police, supporting leavers who are joining litigation, and then doing our core business – which is to help leavers to resettle outside of Gloriavale. That work is rewarding and extremely busy.

If only Charities Services could understand it’s almost unheard of to have large numbers departing a cult like Gloriavale.  Have they ever wondered why? Over 200 of the 550 people that were there 10 years ago have gone. GONE! That’s an enormous number. The fact they have had another 200 children born, and so their number remains at 550 can mask this enormously significant statistic.

Let’s look at it a different way. Imagine 550 people sitting on stage in their Gloriavale clothes, and imagine more than 2/5’s of them are blotted out. They don’t live there anymore. This exodus did not happen without immense effort. It isn’t an accident. It isn’t because Gloriavale has made it easier for people to leave.

We maintain Charities Services doesn’t need to interview all those people. They could just read the news reports of what life was like in Gloriavale from the many that have left. Then they could line this information up with everything they know from Internal Reports, Children’s Commissioner reports, Police, Oranga Tamariki, court evidence, and then connect the dots.

Or they could just wait until a court directs them to take a look…

New Zealanders deserve to have confidence in our Charitable Sector.