'People genuinely seem relaxed and happy' - Gloriavale series producer says life inside the community very different to what people think

The producer of a popular TV series on the Gloriavale Christian community says, despite common opinion, the people there are "genuinely happy".

Amanda Evans, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast, said she was aware of the allegations of sexual misconduct, ostracisation and forced marriages, but that she had only every seen a positive side during her three all-access visits.

"I think the rest of the media in New Zealand are doing a very fine job of putting the black hat on Gloriavale, and I understand those allegations and I follow those reports and I read them - I'm giving a view of how the community feel from their perspective," Ms Evans said.

1 NEWS has obtained a copy of the religious community's joining pledge, that has been labelled a human rights breach. Source: 1 NEWS

"When you are inside the community and you are there, life continues on pretty much as normal - they don't take a lot of notice of what's going on outside ... life has evolved with their own particular set of rules and their own particular agenda.

"I haven't interviewed every single woman in the community, but I have to say, and it's disarmingly so - people genuinely seem relaxed and happy."

Ms Evans said she has been given an access-all-areas pass to Gloriavale during her visits, and that "I can't generate dark, unhappy stories if I genuinely don't find them there."

Lilia Tarawa is the granddaughter of Hopeful Christian, who runs the West Coast sect. Source: Sunday

The latest mini-series on Gloriavale will return to screens this month - Gloriavale: The Return.

The series will revisit Dove Love and Paul and Pearl, who played large parts in TVNZ's previous series, Gloriavale – A World Apart, Gloriavale – Life and Death and Gloriavale – A Woman's Place.

Lilia Tarawa has undergone a transformation after leaving the Gloriavale Christian Community, and is speaking out about female repression within the church. Source: Sunday

It will be available on TVNZ Ondemand.

Amanda Evans has visited the reclusive Christian community three times and says she simply doesn’t see the dark realities the media enjoys repeating. Source: Breakfast

New Zealand retains triple A credit rating

The credit agency Moody's has today maintained the government's credit rating and expressed confidence about the future of the economy.

The rating remains at triple A, with the outlook described as stable.

Moody's analyst Matthew Circosta said the international ratings agency expects the coalition government will remain committed to fiscal discipline, with the Budget staying in surplus.

But it says the government has the flexibility to increase spending in areas such as education and housing.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the rating was very pleasing.

"What they've said is that the underlying fundamentals of the New Zealand economy are strong, that the approach that the coalition government's taking to being responsible with our budget management.

"But investing in areas like infrastructure and improving social supports are the right thing to do, that we can manage to do that within the finances we've got."

Moody's said the very high strength of New Zealand's institutions was a key factor in underpinning the credit rating.

The assessment comes just days after official figures showed growth in the economy increasing to 1 per cent in the three months to June.


Shot of New Zealand twenty dollars.
New Zealand $20 notes (file picture). Source: istock.com


American tourist dies in skiing accident on Mt Aspiring

An American tourist has died while skiiing on Mt Aspiring this afternoon.

Police say the skiing accident at Mt Aspiring happened at about 1.30pm today.

Two visitors to New Zealand were skiing from the top of Mt Aspiring, downhill toward the Bonar Glacier.

One of the skiers got into difficulty, has fallen on the slope and was fatally injured.

The other skier gave first aid to the injured man, but he unfortunately died at the scene.

The Rescue Coordination Centre were advised of the beacon activation just after 1.30pm today.

Police and Search and Rescue teams have been working to locate the skiers this afternoon.

Emergency services are now at the scene and an investigation is underway.

The victim is a 35-year-old American citizen.

Police are currently in the process of talking to his next of kin.

Mount Aspiring towers over the southern alps in New Zealand. Source: istock.com


Man charged with multiple assaults in Invercargill

A 24-year-old man has been arrested in relation to several assaults in Invercargill today.

The man, who has been remanded in custody, is due to appear in Invercargill District Court on Tuesday 2 October.

The man has been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and assault. Further charges are likely.

Between 1.30 and 2.30am today, the man allegedly assaulted four people at two different properties.

A 17 and 23-year-old man, and a 26-year-old woman sustained minor injuries from the incident at the first property, while a 30-year-old man sustained serious facial injuries at the second location.

Police are not looking for anyone else in relation to either incident.

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS

First images of wreck believed to be Captain Cook's Endeavour revealed

Researchers exploring whether a shipwreck off the coast of Rhode Island could be the vessel that 18th-century explorer Captain James Cook used to sail around the world have released images of the vessel.

The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project, which is leading the search effort, and the Australian National Maritime Museum identified the vessel.

It's one of 13 shipwrecks that have been known for years to be in the harbor near Newport, Rhode Island.

Archaeologists were meeting today in Newport to talk about their recent fieldwork.

The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project also described the site as promising but said it'll still take a lot more work and money to identify it.

Nearly 250 years ago, Cook ran aground on Australia's Great Barrier Reef during a voyage to the South Pacific.

His ship was the Endeavour, an awkward little vessel that improbably helped him become the first European to chart Australia's east coast.

It was the ship in which the explorer charted New Zealand and Australia between 1769 and 1771.

The Endeavour was also part of the fleet of 13 ships the British scuttled during the Revolutionary War in 1778 to blockade Newport Harbor from the French.

It was listed in the records under a different name, the Lord Sandwich.

The nonprofit Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project located documents in London identifying the groups of ships in that fleet and where each was scuttled

Archaeologists are almost certain they've located the scuttled ship. Source: 1 NEWS