Independent Review

Arise Church is currently undergoing an independent review

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.

Information about the Pathfinding process

Pathfinding is an independent communication channel which has been set up in order to receive feedback from anyone, including former and current members, volunteers and employees, who wish to share any experiences relating to Arise Church.

As per Pathfinding’s statement released in the first week of May - The initial stage of the review will be concluding at 5pm on Thursday the 12th May.

See the latest statements from Pathfinding here.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Will there be any changes made to the ARISE Youth program?

    Date posted: 12th May 2022

    The ARISE organisation is under a wide external and independent review, this includes ARISE Youth and all areas of ministry.

  • What is the basis for the items in the FAQ?

    Date posted: 12th May 2022

    We recognise that there are a lot of questions at this time, and aim to provide answers to any questions that are relevant and that we are legally able to.

  • Where are Brent and Annie Cameron?

    Date posted: 12th May 2022

    Brent and Annie remain on extended agreed leave at this time, consistent with Arise’s employer obligations.

  • Are John Cameron and Brent Cameron on unpaid leave?

    Date posted: 12th May 2022

    No, they are on paid agreed extended leave consistent with our employer obligations.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 info@arisechurch.com 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: https://arisechurch.com/privacy. For completeness, the Board has initiated a further legal review of Arise’s Privacy Policy which is currently underway.

  • Where are John and Gillian Cameron?

    Date posted: 4th May 2022

    John and Gillian Cameron are on a period of extended leave to allow for the independence of the reports to continue unfettered. They remain supportive of the Board and the Spiritual Oversight as they work through this difficult season and have no involvement in the current operations of the Church.

  • Is it true that John is controlling the Board?

    Date posted: 4th May 2022

    Any statement that implies that John Cameron is in control of the independent processes underway, or the Board is incorrect. John has resigned from the Board and the independent processes have been commissioned by the Board.

    The Arise Trust Deed has been updated. The requirement for any new board member to be appointed and/or approved by John Cameron has been removed. New Trustees or Board Members are appointed by a vote of a 75% majority of the Board only.

  • Is it true that the Board plans to have John and Gillian return, regardless of the review findings?

    Date posted: 4th May 2022

    Any statement that implies the Board has predetermined the outcome of those independent processes is wrong. The Board remains committed to those independent processes and will reach decisions about next steps following their completion.

    Updated: 6th May 2022

    We recognise that the internal FAQ communication sent out 29th April has caused confusion about the return of John and Gillian to Arise Church.

    This internal FAQ did not have sign off from the Board, and although it was a healthy attempt to shed light on important matters happening at Arise, it was missing an important clarification about the findings of the independent reviews in determining the way forward for Arise.

    The statement in the FAQs regarding John and Gillian Cameron read “When the results of the review are provided, their intention is to return to lead the church through the learning and change process.”

    The Board would like to clarify this to:

    "The Board will reach decisions as to John and Gillian’s positions following the completion of the independent reviews and the Board’s  careful consideration of the reports and recommendations coming out of those reviews and any legal advice that it might receive."

    For accurate, correct, Board-approved information, we encourage those interested to please engage with the Independent Review Page on the Arise website.

  • Who are the Board members?

    Date posted: 4th May 2022

    The Board continues to oversee the governance of the church and is managing the review processes. Many have asked “who are they?” so we have posted onto the Arise website a profile of each person. View more details by clicking here.

    “We are pleased to announce a new appointment to the Board, Mrs Alice Camaivuna (née Hunt) who is an experienced employment lawyer, and brings extensive experience in advising governance and strategic decision making across government, education and charitable entities. Alice has been a member of the Arise community for more than 16 years.

    All current Board appointment are for a term of one year.”

    It is expected that further changes will be made to the composition, appointment process, and role of the Board as a result of the reviews underway.

    The Board wishes to thank the many members of the congregation who have offered their wisdom, counsel, experience and prayers. The Board is being well supported by a number of additional advisors both internal and external to Arise.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • What are the latest developments with Pathfinding?

    Date posted: 4th May 2022

    You can read Pathfinding’s latest statement here.

    Pathfinding’s contact details are: contact@pathfinding.co.nz | 0800 274 731 | www.pathfinding.co.nz

  • Where can I ask questions?

    Date posted: 4th May 2022

    We encourage you to submit any questions you may have about the independent processes, this season, the Board, or Arise via this form.