Gloriavale leader hits back: 'There is not a sexual predator at Gloriavale'

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1 NEWS

A leader of the controversial Gloriavale Christian community has told 1 NEWS that there's no sexual predator living among them.

An internal affairs investigation into the controversial Christian community revealed allegations of abuse.
Source: 1 NEWS

1 NEWS spoke to leader Fervent Steadfast after an Internal Affairs investigation revealed allegations of sexual and physical abuse and financial mismanagement. 

TVNZ's Sunday programme has unearthed allegations of physical and sexual abuse over the years at the Gloriavale community, with members speaking out about forced family separation.

"It was really incredible for me to see. They turned on me like a pack of wolves," one former member told the programme.

It was this and other reports indicating "financial irregularities" that led Internal Affairs to launch its own investigation through Charities Services which issued a list of 18 "actions" required, as revealed today by Morgan Tait for The Newsroom.

These include policies for sexual and physical abuse complaints, no longer opening bank accounts for its members without their knowledge, making it easier for former members to stay in touch with family and for members to stop smacking their children.

We don't have to make changes"
Gloriavale spokesperson Fervent Steadfast

But Gloriavale spokesperson Fervent Steadfast isn't concerned. 

Asked in a phone interview what changes are they going to make to maintain charitable status, he said, "We don't have to make changes. They are happy with what we are doing and we are working together in a positive, happy relationship."

The Charities Services says it's going to work with Gloriavale to develop better governance, but "the trust's activities would not constitute grounds for issuing a warning notice or proceeding with further compliance action".

Investigations into allegations of offending at the Gloriavale Christian Community are ongoing"
Inspector Dan Mattison, Acting Area Commander West Coast

Police confirmed they are investigating allegations of sexual abuse at Gloriavale.

"Investigations into allegations of offending at the Gloriavale Christian Community are ongoing. Any and all complaints received by police are treated seriously. To date no charges have been laid," Inspector Dan Mattison, Acting Area Commander West Coast, said in a statement.   

Asked is there a sexual predator at Gloriavale, Fervent Steadfast said: "No there is not a sexual predator at Gloriavale."

Charities Services says it will continue to monitor the controversial community.

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