Gloriavale Christian Community assets top $40 million

Gloriavale Christian Community, across from Lake Haupiri, on the West Coast.

Gloriavale Christian Community, across from Lake Haupiri, on the West Coast.

The Gloriavale Christian Community has opened up to defend its tax status as its assets reach more than $40 million. 

The community leaders took out a large advertisement in the Greymouth Star on Saturday after its financial statements were released online. 

An annual report filed to Charities Services last month shows the community's assets have reached $41.2 million, up from $36.6 in 2014. 

Neville Cooper, also known as Hopeful Christian, who leads the Cooperite sect at Gloriavale on the West Coast

Neville Cooper, also known as Hopeful Christian, who leads the Cooperite sect at Gloriavale on the West Coast

"People are asking about our life, our trust, and if we pay tax," the advertisement said. 

Men groomed to have underage sex in gloriavale exmember says  
Gloriavale: Cult or idyllic society?  
Family leaves Gloriavale for new life in Timaru  
Will Gloriavale's West Coast commune survive?  
Gloriavale controversy not helping those inside, says former member

The advertisement said the community was made up of 550 people who had forsaken all in this life to follow Jesus. 

Gloriavale women and girls.

Gloriavale women and girls.

"We all live together in one place and have all things common. No one owns anything personally, nor lives to care for themself, but all work and share in love together to provide for everyone equally, including the widows and fatherless, and the aged, sick and infirm. We don't take any dependent welfare benefits like superannuation, sickness benefits, widows or domestic purposes benefits, unemployment benefits, nor any Accident Compensation cash payments or student loans," it said. 

Leaders received nothing extra. 

"To make this life possible, we registered a charitable trust, The Christian Church Community Trust, to own and provide all the land, buildings, livestock, plant and machinery... The trust funds are applied for religious and educational purposes, and to help people in need outside Gloriavale," it said. 

The trust did not receive any donations from outside the community. Funds came from founding members who had donated money from selling their land, houses and other assets and inheritance. 

Ad Feedback

"These funds enabled to trust to purchase the initial land, buildings, livestock, plant and machinery, vehicles and other assets needed to live in the Christian Community. The Trust's land has greatly appreciated in value since then," it said. 

Since being set up, a number of companies were incorporated within Gloriavale to bring regular income into the community. These companies lease the trust's assets providing on-going income for the trust.

"All community members who provide labour services for these companies donate some of their personal income to the trust, after paying their own tax and ACC, as also do the staff in the community's school and early childhood centres," it said. 

"We pay standard company tax and personal tax. We never borrow money, take out mortgages, or charge or receive interest," it said. 

It welcomed new members who were willing to "embrace our New Testament faith". 

The annual report shows the trust received $2.8 million in donations and $3.2 million in income from service and trade operations in the year to July 2015.

The community's companies include Air West Coast, Forest Gold Honey, Prospect Energy and Caring Midwives.

It runs a large dairy farm and sphagnum moss export business. It spent $4.3 million including $57,834 on a public concert and $265,996 in gifts and donations. 

In the past year, the community has come under scrutiny by the Department of Internal Affairs who announced it was investigating the trust's charitable status.

The police and Child Youth and Family have been investigating the community after claims children had been subjected to physical abuse. No charges have been laid. 

There have been calls for the Ministry of Education to investigate Gloriavale's schools after claims the curriculum  "woefully inadequate".

It has been reported that hundreds of people had fled the community since Hopeful Christian, or Neville Cooper, set it up in 1969. Some have spoken out about how the leaders controlled community members, particularly women, and cut them off from the outside world.

 - Stuff


Ad Feedback
special offers

School water woes continue

Signs warning children not to drink water at Te Huruhi Primary School.

Two Waiheke Island schools have had no water in drinking fountains for months after an E.coli scare.

Winning films slam meth

Winning young filmmaker Eli Cantwell with Auckland police inspector Ben Offner.

The winners of the Meth Free Waiheke Film Competition have been announced.

Government mirrors Waiheke vote

Former Green MP Denise Roche says the new government will be "good for Waiheke".

Many Waiheke and Great Barrier Island residents are celebrating a surprising new government that reflects their votes.

Time to support our great game

New Zealand Kiwis coach David Kidwell knows sameness won't win this Rugby League World Cup and is developing a game-plan ...

OPINION: Graham Lowe and I have one message to fans of our game - get out and support the Rugby League World Cup.


H&M offers European style

H&M Queensgate will open Thursday October 26.

The Swedish retailer, opening Thursday, will offer Wellingtonians the same clothing they will find in London, Paris and New York.

Call to get tough 

There are calls for cellphone driving ban penalties to be reviewed as New Zealand's road toll continues to climb. (File ...

Penalty for breaking cell phone driving ban "should be doubled", Wellington City Council official says.

I'm alright jack - not

A drop in membership has threatened the future of the Newtown Workingmen's Bowling Club, which could mean the end of a ...

 OPINION: A move to end the lease of the Newtown Workingmen's Bowling Club may rob the area of a valuable community asset.

From Wellington to Tokyo

Coffee Supreme creative director Doug Johns, left, and chief executive Richard Shirtcliffe.

Coffee Supreme serve Wellington brew to locals and tourists in Japan's capital.


Bacon lovers delight video

Troy Bilbrough started Bacon Bros five years ago. The company's eatery at Little High has been cranking out burgers ...

Bacon Bros grills upwards of 250 kilograms of bacon every week at its central city eatery.

Shooting victim named

Police blocked a section of Marsden Rd after the shooting on Sunday afternoon.

Victim believed to be a mother of three sons who "did the best for her kids".

A mother's anguish

One of the last photos taken of Christchurch man Jonny before he died by suspected suicide in June.

"You feel that you could die from the sorrow," says mother of a suspected suicide victim.

'Nothing' helping stop suicides

Carl and Margaret visit their son Jonny's grave after he died by suspected suicide in June.

Canterbury police are called to 10 attempted suicides a day. No-one knows how to bring the number down.


Weather catches driver out

A driver took a slide in wet conditions at Palmers Garden Centre on SH2 Bethlehem.

Wet road proves hazardous for driver who plunged into bush.

Murray saga drags

Former Waikato DHB chief executive Nigel Murray resigned part way through an investigation into his expense claims (file ...

Waikato DHB could bill those wanting clarity around former chief executive's spending.

Cash to quit smoking

Pregnant smokers can earn up to $300 by quitting the cigarettes through a Pinnacle Midlands Health Network programme ...

 Cash vouchers are up for grabs for pregnant smokers in a King Country town if they lay off the cigarettes.

Rescue at Huka Falls

Police, fire and paramedics are in attendance at the popular waterfall.

A kayaker had to be rescued near the Huka Falls rapids.


360 views: Gardening in heaven

290917 News Photo. SIMON O'CONNOR/STUFF
Bindu and Kam Sharma at their Himalayan Garden of Tranquility in Whalers Gate in ...

Step inside, wander around, enjoy the interactive tours...

Life after tragedy

Active Skin specialist Yvette Wyeth at her clinic at Balgowlah, Stocklands, Northern Beaches

Just five weeks old when his dad died, photos have helped keep a young boy stay close to both his parents.

Whānau key at festival

Sylvia Patu with baby Ohorere Te Manawanui Ngarongo Moka from Ngati Maru.

Family and a chance to test one's sporting abilities at popular Taranaki festival

Danger on the roads

A car was left extensively damaged after it rolled multiple times near Mt Messenger.

A spate of crashes keep crews busy this Labour Weekend.


Market brings cultures together

From left, Mohammad Tamim, 12, Tammam Tamim, Mohammad Tamim and Nadia Tamim sell Palestinian and Syrian delicacies at ...

The Lions Club's Market Day in The Square was a chance to be immersed in different cultures.

Gorge needs rethink

The Manawatū Gorge is unlikely to reopen any time soon as the hillside is too unstable.

Calls for the Manawatū Gorge to open to one lane while a new route is formed.

Hartley hopes for second race video

Brendon Hartley (right) rubs shoulders with Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo ahead of the US Grand Prix.

Kiwi puts in a creditable first drive as Lewis Hamilton takes the chequered flag.

Desperation spurred Wallabies win

Ryan Crotty loses the ball in contact against the Wallabies on Saturday night.

OPINION: It is never good watching the All Blacks lose, but world rugby needed that Wallabies win.


Fighting back after cancer

Tyson Fitzpatrick oversees Thomas Ngaruhe strength and condition training.

After cancer treatment left him weak and exhausted, Thomas Ngaruhe fought his way back to fitness thanks to an innovative training programme.

State homes lay empty

A Housing New Zealand house in Norwich St, Stoke has been vacant for four years.

More than 50 people are waiting for homes in Nelson while 15 Housing homes remain vacant. 

Injured tramper airlifted

The Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter flew into Kahurangi National Park on Monday to pick up an injured tramper.

A tramper has been lifted from Kahurangi National Park after hurting his leg.

Makos headed for final

Tasman Makos captain Alex Ainley is welcomed home by his daughters Emilia, left, and Kaiye at Nelson Airport after the ...

The Tasman Makos are now preparing to take on Canterbury in Saturday's premiership rugby final.


Deck fall mistaken for army exercise

The railing of The Portage Hotel deck has been replaced, but still had orange caution tape wrapped around it on Sunday.

People at resort thought the blood was fake and the men were part of a military exercise.

Man stabbed

Police at the scene of a stabbing on Lane St, Blenheim.

A 26-year-old, known to the victim, has been arrested.

Under/Stand the sculpture

Steel sculpture 'Under/Standing' has been unveiled at Brancott Estate, near Renwick.

A geometric marvel, from the man who designed an island, just popped up in the middle of sauvignon blanc country.

What now for Marlborough?

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern announces a NZ First-Labour coalition government.

Major players speculate on how the new Government will affect big business, education and local government.

South Canterbury

Timaru micro-brewery progressing

The Ship Hop Brewing team (from left) Nic Mecchia, Hadley Rich, Brad Reid and Niv Cotterell are looking forward to ...

Beer will soon be flowing, in sample sizes, at a new Timaru micro-brewery.

Life after cancer video

Liam Crutcher, 5, was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a cancerous tumour on his liver, when he was nine months old.  He ...

Liam Crutcher loves to show people the scar on his stomach left after surgery.

Festival to feature new night market

Netcon's Bruce Miller and festival director Chris Thomas prepare to put up the Festival of Roses flags up on the Bay ...

A night market will feature at this year's Festival of Roses.

Keeping an eye on vision

Jo Gregan is urging people to keep an eye on their vision.

A Timaru woman is urging people not to take their sight for granted.


Otago scientists research Lake Wanaka parasites

Otago University zoology PhD student Brandon Ruehle with a bully he is going to investigate for the parasite tylodelphys.

Tylodelphys larvae burst out of their host snails like the Alien and go on to blind fish.

Southern Utd to build on first-up draw

Southern United coach Paul O'Reilly.

Southern United will be looking to build on their first round hard fought draw against Auckland City in the national football league.

Drunk teen's crash shocks

All four occupants of the car that crashed in Central Otago were intoxicated.

Intoxicated parent a passenger when drunk, unlicensed 15-year-old crashed car.

Climbers rescued after freezing night

Chris Prudden​, leader of Wakatipu LandSAR's alpine cliff rescue team.

So-called shortcut leads to 10-hour overnight stay in freezing conditions for two Aussie climbers.


Location scout's extraordinary life video

Dave Comer was considered New Zealand's first professional film location scout.

From Barry Crump commercials to Peter Jackson blockbusters, Dave Comer connected NZ's landscapes with its people.

Ex-convict fears 'war on me'

Rex Haig, of Dunedin, is hoping to lodge a compensation claim with the Government.

Rex Haig's murder conviction was quashed, but his fight for justice is far from over.

Garage fire being investigated

A garage on a Conon St, Invercargill, property was gutted by fire on Sunday afternoon.

Fire investigators have been requested following a garage fire in Invercargill.

Climbers rescued after freezing night

Chris Prudden​, leader of Wakatipu LandSAR's alpine cliff rescue team.

So-called shortcut leads to 10-hour overnight stay in freezing conditions for two Aussie climbers.

Ad Feedback