'He's going to go to hell' says woman sexually abused by Gloriavale leader Hopeful Christian in the '80s

The death of controversial Gloriavale leader Hopeful Christian is drawing mixed reaction from those who knew him.

While the West Coast commune mourns his loss, others have taken the opportunity to speak out against him. 

The closed community closed ranks even further on what's believed to be the day of their leaders' funeral, just one day after 92-year-old Hopeful Christian is reported to have died.

For some, his death has simply brought relief. He sexually abused Yvette Olsen in the 1980s.

Sunday’s Jehan Casinader interviewed the religious leader before he died, and says the community will adapt to go on without him. Source: Breakfast

"His destruction of my life is finally over," Ms Olsen said from Australia today.

"He's going to be before God and he's got to answer for every one of those people whose lives he destroyed. And then he's going to go to hell," she said.

He founded the Cooperites in North Canterbury in the 1960s, when the Australian evangelist was known as Neville Cooper. 

"It's been firm, tight even grim control from the inside that's the mark of this community," Peter Lineham, religious historian said today.

Christian was convicted of sex offences in the 1990s and jailed for 10 months. But his following remained loyal, moving to the West Coast to build Gloriavale which now has 500 members.

The controversial religious leader died today after a battle with cancer. Source: Sunday

But will their leaders' death bring about the demise of the community he built?

"I think it would go against the ethos of the community that anyone would take the place of the person they revere as their prophet and founder," Mr Lineham said.

In 2007 Christian granted TVNZ's Sunday programme his first ever television interview.

"The moment I started questioning him, challenging his principles and values and his history, he was very defensive. He was squirming," Sunday correspondent Janet McIntyre said today.


While the West Coast commune mourns his death at 92, others have taken the opportunity to speak out against him. Source: 1 NEWS

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1 NEWS political team discuss what happens for Simon Bridges, once leak investigation is finally released

The 1 NEWS team discuss the potential aftermath for leader Simon Bridges once the investigation into the National Party leaker is released.

It comes after the Opposition leader launched an investigation to look into who leaked Mr Bridges' expenses. 

Mr Bridges' MP expenses were released earlier than scheduled last week, with $113,973 spent on travel and accommodation between April and June.

Yesterday, an independent review found no evidence that staff in the office of Parliament's speaker, Speaker Trevor Mallard, or Parliamentary Service finance and corporate staff released details. 

Read: Jessica Mutch McKay's analysis on the Simon Bridges leak. 

A weekly catch up with 1 NEWS’ political reporters about the stories they’ve been covering. Source: 1 NEWS

The 1 NEWS team discuss the potential aftermath for leader Simon Bridges once the investigation into the National Party leaker is released. Source: 1 NEWS

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Search continues overnight for crew member missing from Sealord vessel off Wairarapa coast


The search for a crew member missing from a Sealord vessel  off the Wairarapa coast is continuing through the night. 

The company says mid-morning this morning crew onboard the Otakou became aware a crew member did not report for duty.

A full muster was conducted to confirm this, and a search was immediately commenced and authorities notified, Sealord said.

The four vessels involved in the search will search overnight, and will review the situation after sunrise tomorrow.

The two helicopters searching were stood down at nightfall.

Weather conditions in the area are fair but are predicted to deteriorate tomorrow.

Source: NZ Topo Map

Sealord said it is making all effort to notify next of kin. 

It said the crew member was not on active duty at the time of disappearance and the reason for the disappearance is not known at this stage.

All other crew are accounted for, however, they are very concerned for the safety of their team member, the company said. 

Sealord is taking this situation very seriously and is providing support to all staff, it said.

The company is also cooperating with all search and rescue instructions, it said.

Earlier tonight Vince Cholewa of the Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre said the centre was advised of the crew member overboard around 11.30am. 

At that time the person had been in the water for 50 minutes or less, he told 1 NEWS. 

Mr Cholewa said there were four vessels and two helicopters involved in the search - Otakou, two other fishing vessels, the police launch Lady Elizabeth IV, a LifeFlight helicopter and an Air Force NH90. 

The estimated location is 11km east of Glendhu Rocks.

Sealord's Otakou
Sealord's Otakou Source: Sealord


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Partner at Russell McVeagh quits after investigation into ‘inappropriate’ drunken comments

Russell McVeagh has today confirmed the resignation of a partner following an independent investigation into complaints over inappropriate complaints made while intoxicated, the law firm said in a statement.

It’s now put the spotlight on the whole legal profession and other industries. Source: 1 NEWS

Russell McVeagh board chair Malcom Crotty said, "A thorough investigation substantiates the complaints and the partner concerned has apologised and tendered his resignation.

"We are deeply disappointed in the partner at the centre of the investigation."

Mr Crotty said the firm "is committed to changing the culture" of their organisation, adding that they "all recognise that change requires collective and long-term commitment".

It found a culture involving “excessive drinking” and at times “sexually inappropriate behaviour”. Source: 1 NEWS

"All partners in the firm agreed to uphold and lead the change," he said.

"The partner concerned let the firm down and we have now lost trust and confidence in him. The Board determined that his conduct has fallen below our expected standards and we have accepted his resignation.

"There is no place for inappropriate conduct at our firm. Despite the circumstances, it is encouraging that our people have spoken up."

Russell McVeagh has arranged to meet with the New Zealand Law Society following the investigation.

The man made inappropriate comments while under the influence of alcohol. Source: 1 NEWS