Independent Reviews

FAQs about the complete independent review and consultation process

Recently as a church, we have been hearing heartbreaking stories about the hurt that the culture of our church has caused. We are broken and devastated by these stories. The board has commissioned two separate processes to be carried out by parties which are independent from the Board and Arise. This page contains helpful information about one of the review processes and aims to answer questions you may have in this season.

The Arise Review Roadmap

The Arise Board has published a roadmap which outlines the scope, structure, process, and timing of the reviews underway.

The Review Roadmap is intended to be a transparent and consultative process. It is expected that regular, ongoing updates will be provided to help this happen.

Please visit the Arise Review Roadmap page to view a full overview the roadmap.

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Frequently Asked Questions

As a member of our church, you might have some questions about these independent review processes. There are answers to some frequently asked questions below.

  • Review Roadmap

    How is input from the Arise congregation going to happen throughout the Review process? How will congregational members of the RAC be selected? Given Arise boasts over 10,000 members. How can 2-3 be proportional?
    Date posted: 23rd June 2022

    The terms of the Review Advisory Council (RAC) including the selection of its members have not yet been finalised, these terms will be published by the Board when they have been finalised. The RAC and hui will work to ensure that many views and perspectives of members are able to be heard, as practically possible.

    What is the timeline moving forward?
    Date posted: 3rd June 2022

    Next week the Arise Board will publish the Arise Review Roadmap which will outline the intended timeline of the review processes, including the publication of key findings and recommendations, the process for consultation and input from stakeholders, and the commitment to implementation and accountability of any recommendations. This Review Roadmap is intended to be a transparent and consultative process, and so the Board will ask for feedback and input from the Arise congregation and stakeholders as a first step.

    What are the next steps?
    Date posted: 20th May 2022

    Submissions to the Pathfinding review have now closed, providing a full roadmap and timeline of next steps is the Board’s current priority and will be outlined over the coming weeks to help with rebuilding trust, transparency and accountability.

    Are the serious allegations reported to the Police? And are past records of settlements shared with the Police?
    Date posted: 20th May 2022

    Any serious allegations are reported to the Police by Arise, Pathfinding and Duncan Cotterill. In addition, the circumstances surrounding any past records of settlements and employment related matters will be reviewed by the Duncan Cotterill independent review. The Board is committed to any corrective action that may be required as a result of the review findings and their recommendations.

    What is the scope of the Duncan Cotterill legal review? Is it possible for people to contribute to that review and how does it relate to the Pathfinding review?
    Date posted: 12th May 2022

    Duncan Cotterill is a national law firm that will review ARISE’s current workplace culture, employment policies and practices, post-employment practices (such as exit interviews), management of volunteers (including in the context of ARISE’s internship programme and the historic operations of that programme and also the operations of the ARISE ministry school specifically with regard to the handling of students/interns, the culture of the ministry school and its policies and procedures), and handling of external complaints (including but not exclusive to complaints from members of the congregation, previous employees or the general public against employees or volunteers).

    This review will also assess ARISE’s compliance with Workplace Health & Safety obligations. Pathfinding will provide a report to Duncan Cotterill of the key themes and issues raised during their review as related to staff, interns and volunteers. If deemed necessary by Duncan Cotterill they may adjust their scope or request to confidentially interview both past and current employees, interns, and members, with their consent. The review will make recommendations to the Board in respect of all employment and workplace related matters moving forward. Duncan Cotterill has not previously acted for ARISE and does not know any of the individuals involved.

    With regard to Pathfinding, who will be investigating matters if investigation is deemed to be  required, given that Pathfinding personnel have no powers of investigation under the Private Security Personnel and Private Investigators Act 2010?
    Date posted: 12th May 2022

    If, and when, there are matters referred to the Board that require investigation they will be dealt with by a suitably qualified person who meets any legal requirements under the Act.

  • Board, Governance, Leadership

    Is there a disconnect between the Board and the leadership at Arise?
    Date posted: 23rd June 2022

    The Board and Leadership remain united in their resolve to see those who have been hurt find a pathway to healing and reconciliation. We collectively believe this is a significant and important opportunity for Arise to learn, to grow, to become healthier and a more beautiful representation of Christ to Aotearoa and the world. The Arise Board and Leadership has been working together on a near daily basis over the past three months, and will continue to navigate this significant change together.

    Is it appropriate for Graeme Kirkwood to be on the Arise Board?
    Date posted: 3rd June 2022

    Board practices and processes are now all currently under legal review, and we await these findings.

    Why has it only taken the recent public outcry and serious allegations to be made for the changes to the Board appointment structure to be made?
    Date posted: 20th May 2022

    The recent public outcry and serious allegations have certainly sped up a process that was already underway, but was not the sole instigator for the Board’s response. The Board had committed to an independent review of its employment practices, handling of complaints, board structure amongst other things prior to the recent media allegations. In the past five years, there have also been a number of significant changes made to programmes such as the Arise Ministry School, management of volunteers, and employment practices.

    Although these changes have been made, and a process was already underway, it did not give a chance to address the very real hurt experienced. The Board views the Pathfinding process as necessary to understand the full extent of the situation. It is only from listening, learning and restoring that real change to a culture can be made. We expect that further changes will be made as a result of the Reviews.

    Questions related to the Trust Deed
    Date posted: 20th May 2022

    We’ve posted an updated copy of the Trust Deed here for your information. The updated documents were lodged with Charities Services on 29 April 2022 by our lawyers. Charities Services have advised that there is a backlog in uploading documents, explaining why the new deed is not available on the Charities Register.

    The Arise Board continues to fulfil various roles required under the current Trust Deed and the Charities Act 2005. The current Board terms are all for one year. The review into Board practices and structure will cover the selection and appointment of new Board Members; Board representation and diversity; Board membership terms; Board powers and processes (including appointment of a Chairperson and role/powers, approval of budgets and delegated financial approvals, employment and workplace health and safety, Board subcommittees, Board engagement and consultation with Spiritual Oversight).

    Did Graeme Kirkwood resign?
    Date posted: 20th May 2022

    We’ve also fielded questions relating to Graeme Kirkwood’s apparent resignation, as listed on the Register updates. Graeme Kirkwood was appointed to the Board on 16 December 2014 and took the role of Chairperson on 12 April 2022. He has not come off the Board—this was an administrative error made by Charities Services, and has since been rectified.

    When and why did Pastors Russell Evans and Paul de Jong leave the Board?
    Date posted: 12th May 2022

    Russell Evans and Paul de Jong were Arise Church Board trustees from 27/03/2003, and their last date as officers was 15/10/2009. Under the original Trust Deed the trust founders were also Trustees of the first Arise Board. As the organisation progressed and the need for the Spiritual Oversight was established, this role became more defined. Their resignations from the Board reflect the transition necessary to facilitate the framework for the Spiritual Oversight by the Board in 2010.

    The current structure, membership, and operation of the Spiritual Oversight, is currently under review by the Board and it is expected that further changes will be made.

    Can current members access Board minutes? And how are Board members selected?
    Date posted: 12th May 2022

    Currently, Arise Board minutes are not available to congregation members as many contain sensitive, legal, and personal information that should not be available in the public arena. It is common practice for charities to not release Board minutes.

    The process of selecting Arise Board members was changed on April 18 2022. The requirement for Board appointments to be made or approved by John Cameron has been removed. Under the amendment, Board appointments now require 75% approval of the current Board, and names are nominated within the Board. The Board will take into account any recommendations regarding governance and Board processes made at the conclusion of the independent reviews.

    Can you confirm the roles and responsibilities of the Board and what powers/ authority they have over the governance of Arise, its employees and allocation of money?
    Date posted: 12th May 2022

    The Board roles are those defined in the Trust Deed and under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957, and the more recent Charities Act 2015.

    In relation to employees, the Arise Board is the ultimate employing authority. Regarding money allocation, the Board provides approval of the annual budget. There is a Delegated Financial Authority (DFA) in place that controls who and how money is spent by the Leadership and management of Arise within the approved budget. These controls also apply to any out of budget expenditure. The Board is fully involved in any major projects such as land and buildings purchases and borrowings. These controls and DFAs are audited annually by Arise’s external auditors, BDO.

    Who is currently leading Arise?
    Date posted: 4th May 2022

    Arise’s Leadership Team is being led by Nathan Chambers and the Pastoral Team is being led by Ps Ben Kendrew. We want to acknowledge the huge load they and the Campus Pastors have been carrying during this season and thank them for their care of, and commitment to, the people of Arise.

  • Spiritual Oversight

    What is the role of the Spiritual oversight?
    Date posted: 20th May 2022

    The Board established the Spiritual Oversight back in 2010 as an advisory body. At that time the Board believed three was a workable size. The future role of the Spiritual Oversight will be reviewed as part of the Duncan Cotterill review and others.

  • Finances

    Where can we get more information about Arise’s finances and spending?
    Date posted: 3rd June 2022

    Arise’s finances are audited annually by auditing firm BDO in accordance with Financial Account Standards and Charities Regulations. These annual reports are published with Charities Services and made publicly available. The Arise Board is currently reviewing the information contained in these reports and looking at how it can further enhance the financial disclosure, transparency, and understandability of these reports. This includes providing members more detail and clarity around remuneration, gifts and honorariums, community care, and outreach expenditure. Going forward the Arise Board will also make available Arise’s annual reports via the Arise website for ease of access.

    Is Arise Church paying for John or Brent’s lawyer?
    Date posted: 20th May 2022

    No. Arise Church is not paying for any legal fees on behalf of John Cameron or Brent Cameron. Any legal fees for John Cameron and Brent Cameron would be considered a personal appointment to be paid for from their personal funds.

    Can I view the budget?
    Date posted: 20th May 2022

    Annual Financial reports are audited by independent external auditor, BDO, and published publicly on the Charities Services website. A review of Budget vs actual is included as part of the audit review process. The Board is committed to greater transparency with the congregation in the future, and will review any recommendations from the legal review regarding best practice.

    How is expenditure managed in terms of guest speakers?
    Date posted: 20th May 2022

    It is usual for guest speakers to have been provided with a gift basket, and an honorarium for speaking. For conference speakers it is the same, however, additional gifts may be provided where there is an excessive speaking load or the speaker agrees to speak for no honorarium. Any gifts given must be within approved budgets and delegated financial approvals.

    How is John Cameron accountable for the financial decisions that are made around guest speakers?
    Date posted: 12th May 2022

    For conference and church operations an annual budget and conference budget is approved by the Board, this includes a guest speakers budget. Arise Leadership, including John Cameron, is then responsible for keeping within the guest speakers budget or obtaining approval from the Board to go outside of it.

    How is John Cameron accountable for any personal expenditure he has made from Arise funds?
    Date posted: 12th May 2022

    It is Arise policy that if there are any instances of personal expenditure using Arise funds, these are reimbursed by the staff member. These processes are audited by Arise's external auditor, BDO.

    Can you confirm whether Arise has given guest speakers high-value gifts?
    Date posted: 12th May 2022

    It is usual for guest speakers to have been provided with a gift basket, and an honorarium for speaking. For conference speakers it is the same, however, additional gifts may be provided where there is an excessive speaking load or the speaker agrees to speak for no honorarium. Any gifts given must be within approved budgets and DFAs.

  • Policies

    Can you share Arise’s leave policies?
    Date posted: 20th May 2022

    These are confidential employment policies that are not available to the public. However, they are currently being reviewed as part of the Duncan Cotterill independent review, and if any changes are required to be made in order to ensure best practice they will be made.

    Is there a code of conduct Board Members and Pastors need to adhere to?
    Date posted: 20th May 2022

    Yes there is. This is currently being reviewed as part of the review process.

  • Other

    What is Arise doing about/how is it addressing its honour culture?
    Date posted: 23rd June 2022

    As part of the Review process, the Board and the Review Advisory Council (RAC) will be addressing the 'honour culture' at Arise.

    What are John and Gillian's positions/involvement at Arise?
    Date posted: 23rd June 2022

    As previously announced John and Gillian have formally resigned however during the transition period they will remain employees. However, during this transitional period John and Gillian have no formal decision making capacity, will not be acting in any pastoral or preaching roles, and will have no delegated financial authorities. While the review is underway John and Gillian Cameron attend Arise services as congregation members only.

    John and Gillian Cameron’s resignations, and Brent Cameron’s resignation
    Date posted: 3rd June 2022

    There have been a number of questions asking about John and Gillian’s resignations including if this is an admission of guilt, or if they were pressured into resigning. All decisions to resign were made by the individuals themselves. John and Gillian have shared their reasons for resigning here: “We are resigning to allow for real change to take place. We believe that our resignation ensures the best future for both the staff and the congregation of Arise. Arise needs change both structurally and culturally and by stepping aside we are seeking to enable that change to quickly take place. We are confident in the Board to ensure that change will happen.”

    As part of Brent Cameron’s resignation he received only his minimum employment entitlements, including accrued leave entitlements and payment in lieu of notice, as was required under his employment contract. Any church property was returned.

    Annie Cameron is currently on Special Leave.

    What will John and Gillian be doing over the next three months, and why is this happening?
    Date posted: 3rd June 2022

    The Board and Leadership of Arise felt it was important that John and Gillian Cameron assist them with the handover of leadership responsibilities. During the next three months John and Gillian will have no formal decision making capacity, they will not be acting in any pastoral or preaching roles, and will have no delegated financial authorities. They will be making themselves available to the Board and to the independent legal review to provide information as necessary.

    What about the serious allegations that have been raised in the public arena?
    Date posted: 3rd June 2022

    The Arise Board wants to reiterate that it is legally unable to comment on specific allegations made in the public arena. Any serious allegation or complaint made against an individual coming out of any of the review processes will be reported directly to the Arise Board for further consideration and where appropriate investigation and resolution. Depending on their nature they may also be reported directly to the Police by the reviewers at their sole discretion.

    Are the Campus Pastors being cared for? Please assure us they are being looked after?
    Date posted: 12th May 2022

    The Board continues to be aware of the needs of the Campus Pastors and Staff. Provision has been made for them to have additional access to care and support as needed, including counselling support, leave and pastoral care.

    What happens to my personal information and data?
    Date posted: 12th May 2022

    Arise places an emphasis on protecting people’s privacy. Because of this, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is protected. Our policy is that any personal information that we do keep is only collected with your approval and is stored in a secure database and is not made available to any external parties.

    Personal information that we retain is used to communicate with you, and to assist in providing the best possible experience and support while you are connected to our community.

    Access to personal information on the database is restricted to specific roles, level of sensitivity, regions and demographics. This means that our database users only have access to information that is relevant to their role.

    Personal information is not retained indefinitely. Our database is designed to permanently remove information on individuals who have indicated that they no longer attend Arise Church, or after a set period.

    You may request access, changes and updates, or removal to any personal information Arise holds about you at any time.

    If you wish to access your personal information held by us, or you have any complaints regarding our treatment of your personal information, then please email providing your name and email address, and details of the request or complaint. We will process your request as soon as reasonably practicable, unless there are legal grounds preventing us from doing so. We will explain why if we are unable to do so.

    A copy of ARISE's privacy policy can be found here: For completeness, the Board has initiated a further legal review of Arise’s Privacy Policy which is currently underway.

    Has Arise ever signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement or provided hush money to staff or interns?
    Date posted: 4th May 2022

    This is categorically untrue. The Board reiterates that it is not aware of Arise having ever entered into non-disclosure agreements with staff or interns. The Board is aware of two occasions in Arise’s 20 year history, where, in accordance with standard employment resolution processes, Arise has entered into ‘records of settlement’. Those agreements have been signed off by independent Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment mediators. The Board is unable to otherwise comment on individual cases under law and we await the findings of the review.