Lawyer for ex-Gloriavale members says community is run on child labour, slams Government for not intervening

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Last week, the Employment Court ruled six former Gloriavale residents were employees – not volunteers – while living in the reclusive West Coast community.

Dubbed the ‘Glorivale six’, Serenity Pilgrim, Anna Courage, Rose Standtrue, Crystal Loyal, Pearl Valor and Virginia Courage said they were treated like slaves, primed for the job from birth and worked for many years under punishing conditions.

The decision has prompted the Education Review Office to investigate Gloriavale School after the judge found girls were only provided education to the extent it prepared them for their role within the community.

Appearing on Newshub Nation on Saturday, Henry told co-host Rebecca Wright it is “mind-boggling” the Government has not intervened.

Founded over 50 years ago, Glorivale quickly realised it could not solely rely on bringing in adults to increase its membership and decided to build the population with the children, Henry said.

“They literally depended then on child labour,” he said.

Henry said at the time there were around 400 children and 200 adults in the community located in the “wild west” of the South Island. He said they put children to work as their businesses required labour.

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