In light of the recent resignations by John and Gillian Cameron, and Brent Cameron, the Arise Board acknowledges the range of emotions experienced by staff, campus pastors, and members of the congregation at this time.
The review process is still underway, and it is important that there continues to be time and space for people to be heard. We appreciate there is a desire for more clarity around the timeframe over the review so the Board will publish the Arise Review Roadmap which will outline the intended timeline of the review processes.
It will also include the dates of 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 will ask for feedback and input from Arise congregation and stakeholders as a first step.
The Arise Board is working collaboratively to communicate important information, wherever possible. At the moment the Board is in daily dialogue and is meeting formally at least weekly. The Board acknowledges the need for enhanced communication and transparency. Please keep in mind that while the review is in place there are restrictions on what can legally be said, especially in regards to specific individuals or allegations made in the public domain. We thank you for your patience throughout this process, and for the genuine questions and feedback. Communication you can expect from the Arise Board includes regular Board Statements, which include FAQs. We have grouped questions together into broad themes for the purpose of answering as many as possible, these are below:
John and Gillian Cameron’s resignations, and Brent Cameron’s resignation
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?
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.
Is it appropriate for Graeme Kirkwood to be on the Arise Board?
Board practices and processes are now all currently under legal review, and we await these findings.
Where can we get more information about Arise’s finances and spending?
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.
What is the timeline moving forward?
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.
Does Arise honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi?
Arise is working toward upholding its covenant responsibilities under Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) and our nation’s bicultural partnership. We accept this is a journey for Arise and there is much more we need to do to ensure everyone feels included and welcome in our church.
What about the serious allegations that have been raised in the public arena?
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.
Who owns Arise?
Arise is not owned by anyone but exists independently under New Zealand Law for its stated charitable purpose. This charitable purpose as stated in its Trust Deed includes:
Because of the Trust Deed, Arise Church is not owned by a family, a couple, or individual person. It exists for the benefit of its members—the people who are part of Arise Church. Arise Church is governed by the Arise Board.
— The Arise Board.