'It is no longer our place to judge' says Hopeful Christian's estranged daughter as she opens up on Gloriavale founder's death

The estranged daughter of Gloriavale founder Hopeful Christian has opened up following his death, saying he stands before his maker and it is not our place to judge.

The Australian-born founder of the secretive and controversial West Coast religious community died yesterday aged 92 after a battle with cancer.

Christian, an evangelical preacher who changed his name from Neville Cooper after founding the fundamentalist community in the late 1960s, was a convicted sex offender.

He was jailed in 1995 on three charges of indecent assault at the Springbank Christian Community - an earlier version of the church in North Canterbury - in the 1980s.

The NZ Herald reports the daughter fled Gloriavale nine years ago, along with her partner and children.

The daughter, who requested not to be named, told the media outlet she was taking space to grieve the loss of her father.

"We grieve what might have been. We reflect on a time when we loved, the longing for things to change, and the feeling of melancholy that things were not different," she said.

"We grieve that the relationship now has no chance of mending."

The daughter said her father gave her life and a heritage for which she is grateful.

"He now stands before his maker. It is no longer our place to judge.

"Everybody is shaped by their journey and it is up to us to choose what we make of it and who we become.

"I honour my Dad today."

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

Christian had 16 children from his first marriage to Gloria. Four of those children remain in Gloriavale, two have died and 10 have fled the community, the Herald reported.

The controversial religious leader died from cancer on May 15, 2018. Source: 1 NEWS



'Not every superannuitant has the opportunity to be a celebrity dancer' – Finance Minister lands sly dig on ACT leader David Seymour

Reality TV slipped into Parliament today during Question Time, after the Finance Minister made a light-hearted dig at ACT leader David Seymour's participation in Dancing with the Stars. 

It came after Labour MP Dr Duncan Webb asked Grant Robertson "what priorities did the Budget Policy Statement 2018 set out?"

Mr Robertson said "building quality public services" of health and education, child poverty and homelessness, sustainable economic development.

"We can't fix every problem in one Budget, but health, education and housing will finally receive the support they deserve under this government's plan."

ACT leader David Seymour asked, "If the Minister characterised the previous tax-cuts as poorly targeted, how would he characterise giving the Winter Energy payment to millionaires?"

Mr Robertson replied: "I'd characterise the Winter Energy payment as helping superannuitants get in the position to pay their bills throughout the year, because not every superannuitant has the opportunity to be a celebrity dancer."

Mr Robertson was referring to Mr Seymour being on the show, Dancing with the Stars, supporting the charity Kidsline. 

The ACT leader asked about the Winter Energy Payment going to millionaires, but Grant Robertson returned serve with a quip about his TV exploits. Source: 1 NEWS

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David Nyika medal theft: Do you know these people who could help solve Commonwealth Games gold medal mystery?

As the investigation into the theft of boxer David Nyika’s 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medal continues, Hamilton Police say they are yet to identify four people who may be of assistance in cracking the case.

Nyika, who backed up his Glasgow light heavyweight gold with a win over Australia's Jason Whately in the heavyweight division on the Gold Coast, was in Auckland last month when he noticed his medal, as well as some vouchers, had been stolen from his car.

He reported the theft to police on April 29 and an investigation began with police releasing stills from a CCTV camera in the store Nyika had been in prior to the theft.

Police want to talk to this person or anyone who recognises this person in relation to the theft of a Commonwealth Games gold medal.
Police want to talk to this person or anyone who recognises this person in relation to the theft of a Commonwealth Games gold medal. Source: NZ Police

Police still want to know who the four individuals are in the photographs, pictured, as they believe they may be able to assist them.

Nykia won the medal on the Gold Coast, and says it holds plenty of sentimental value for him. Source: 1 NEWS

However, police say following an appeal earlier this week, a man and a woman police were seeking to identify are now helping with inquiries. 

"Obviously a Commonwealth Games medal is very distinctive and of huge personal significance to the victim and his family, and we want to see it returned.

"We believe someone will know who the people in these photographs are, and we urge them to get in touch with us," Detective Sergeant Slater said.

Information can be passed to  on (07) 858 6200.

Anyone who wishes to remain anonymous can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Two people who may have information on the theft of Kiwi boxer David Nyika's Commonwealth Games gold medal.
Two people who may have information on the theft of Kiwi boxer David Nyika's Commonwealth Games gold medal. Source: New Zealand Police