Kia Ora Church,
Thank you for the questions you have been sending through, we have been doing our best to make our way through these and have updated the FAQs on Arise’s Independent Review Page.
Please note some questions have been grouped together or edited for clarity, and some questions that relate to specific allegations or people have not been addressed due to legal and privacy obligations.
We would like to make you aware, as per Pathfinding’s release last week, that the initial stage of their review will be concluding at 5pm today. If you would like to engage with this process we encourage you to do so before the window for submissions closes.
After submissions there will be further information provided as to the timing and next steps of the Pathfinding review process including the sharing of findings and recommendations.
There have been a number of questions about the Duncan Cotterill Legal Review. 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 and Safety obligations. Pathfinding will also 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.
We appreciate that the church is looking for more clarity and certainty over the path forward for Arise. In the coming weeks the Board will provide a more comprehensive outline of the timing and outputs for the two review processes including; receiving their findings, the formulation of recommendations, consultation with members, and the implementation of adopted changes. We want to ensure that not only is the review process robust, but that there is sufficient time for consultation and input around the review findings and any recommendations made.
As we wait for the outcome of both reviews and their recommendations, the Board has been listening to many in the church and have identified areas to look at including: establishing an Eldership; developing a wider and diverse Board; and reviewing the way the empowerment of staff and campus leadership operates. We believe God will use this review to provide healing, as well as strengthen the church and make a way forward for change.
We appreciate this time is challenging and we would like to thank you for your patience, courage and thoughtful input throughout this process.
- The Arise Board