Gloriavale: Majority surveyed believe it is ‘essentially a cult’

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That’s according to the a first-of-its-kind test of public opinion curated by Talbot Mills, which asked people what should happen to the controversial West Coast commune.

There have been allegations of sexual abuse, physical abuse, labour exploitation and more recently, claims of human trafficking.

For years, Gloriavale has been in the media spotlight. But now the public has given their take.

Talbot Mills research director David Talbot said he “thought it was time” the public was consulted on their view after the commune had made the news in the last few weeks.

More than 1000 people were surveyed, and 74% said the position closest to their view was that Gloriavale was essentially a cult, and the government should shut it down to protect people living there.

This compared to 12% who considered it just a religious community, and authorities should give leaders time to fix problems, rather than interfere with them practising their religion.

Another 15% of respondents were unsure on the matter.

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