Update about our Review Process — Arise Board and Leadership Team

Pathfinding was set up by Arise as an independent, anonymous channel for people to give feedback about their experiences with our church. Along with a number of other professional services, it was established as one of several inputs from which we can learn and grow. The report is a collection of stories and experiences, and provides recommendations about the structure and culture of Arise and some suggested next steps. It has provided some challenging and useful insight into many areas for improvement and change. The purpose of this update is to inform our church family as to the steps we are taking in response and actions that are already underway.

The report itself is large and covers a wide range of topics. Because of the nature of the feedback and recommendations, we need to respond in many different ways.

We are viewing this report with a traditional Christian lens. We filter what we receive from the recommendations with a whole-hearted commitment to the teachings of the Bible; by seeking God and then applying what we see as congruent with the core values of our church.

On this basis, there will be many recommendations that we will take on board immediately, some which will take further thought and time, and some which will not align with who we will become. These decisions will be made by the Board informed by recommendations from the Review Advisory Council with input from staff and our Church.

It is important and encouraging to note that several recommendations suggested in this report are already being outworked. Some of these can be found below.

Here are the actions we are taking:

  1. Pastoral response
    We are taking the experiences and stories that have been shared seriously. Our pastoral team have been meeting with people throughout this season; hearing stories and experiences, apologising personally, reconciling, praying, and caring for people. We will continue to do this and, where needed, involve trained professionals for further support.

    If you would personally like further support, please reach out to any of our pastoral staff. Alternatively you could email

    See below for professional services outside of Arise.

    Where to get help:


  2. Following due process
    Where there were some serious allegations in the report and investigation was necessary, Pathfinding notified the relevant authorities. There are no ongoing criminal investigations as a result of the report.

    As Pathfinding’s report has stated, “the process we have undertaken is a review process and not an investigation”. “We were not tasked with determining whether those experiences were established on an evidential standard”. “Pathfinding was not tasked with undertaking an enquiry into all allegations, or to weigh all perspectives of Arise Church.”

    Any employment matters are being followed up as required.

  3. Seeking more feedback from subject matter experts
    There are also recommendations on areas like finance, human resources, privacy, health, safety and wellbeing, and governance. In these areas, we need to lean into the advice from experts – such as the reports commissioned from Duncan Cotterill, Parry Field Lawyers, and BDO Accounting. These professional services are qualified to assess and investigate these areas, which will give us informed findings and best practice recommendations.

    We are committed to working with experts in these areas to make any changes as required.

  4. Establishing the Review Advisory Council
    The Review Advisory Council will consist of internal and external stakeholders of Arise from across the country. They will act as oversight and facilitate further consultation with Arise staff and members regarding the recommendations from Duncan Cotterill, Pathfinding, BDO Accounting, and Parry Field Lawyers.

    The key objective of this group will be to make final recommendations to the Arise Board and provide accountability for the changes being implemented.

    The representatives will be selected using a skills matrix in consultation with key leaders, pastors and external advisors to Arise.

    Nominations for the Review Advisory Council will open this weekend. This will be our next update.



It is important and encouraging to note that several recommendations suggested in the Pathfinding Report have already taken place or are currently being outworked, as highlighted below. We acknowledge that some individual’s experiences have not always been consistent with the organisation’s expectations set out below, but wanted to highlight some of the work being done. Many areas will continue to be reviewed and improved as part of the Review Advisory Council process. We are committed to making further changes as required.

Work completed:


  • PF Recommendation 22:
    Action: Any donations to external ministries are from a Board approved budget.

    See more about how our finances work here.

  • PF Recommendation 23:
    Action: Arise has a policy in place to ensure checks and controls occur for all transactions, which is also being reviewed by BDO Accounting. All supplier orders, credit card purchases, and reimbursements are required to be in budget with a valid purchase order number. All transactions are processed and/ or monitored and reviewed by the finance team to ensure they are organisational costs and within the approved budget. Senior, executive and high-level management credit card expenses are reviewed and approved by a non- executive Board member. Any personal charges incurred on an Arise credit card are coded to a recharge account code, and the staff member is sent an invoice for payment.

    See more about how our finances work here.

  • PF Recommendation 24:
    Action: Each year, the Board approves an annual budget and authorises spending within that budget. This budget is prepared in line with high level principles approved by the Board, with dedicated percentages to key areas of Arise – operational, reach, give and build. More detailed systems and processes fall within these principles, including salary setting and banding. Any expenditure that falls outside of the budget is to be signed off by a Board approved Delegated Financial Authority (DFA) beforehand. DFA sits primarily with the Board with relatively low-level authorisation for management.

    See more about how our finances work here.

  • PF Recommendation 25:
    Action: We have recently updated the ‘Give’ page on our website as part of this process. You can access it here. This outlines our key principles, processes, systems, and controls. There is also a link to the Charities Services Register where people can see the audited financial statements.

  • PF Recommendation 26 and 73:
    Action: As a church, we believe in the biblical principle of tithing and see it as an act of obedience and worship to God. We acknowledge that the decision to tithe or not tithe is a personal one. There is no requirement for people to give to attend Arise services or be part of our community.

    See more about how our finances work here.

Staffing and HR

A senior external expert in human resource practices has been engaged by the Board to work closely with staff to ensure Arise meets all of its legislative obligations as an employer including all health and safety obligations. This includes reviewing employment terms and conditions, polices and current practices.

  • PF Recommendation 12:
    Action: The Arise Code of Conduct is a key organisational document for all staff in the onboarding process. The document is outlined for new staff members and signed as an acknowledgment of being read and understood.

  • PF Recommendation 27:
    Action: All staff and Ministry School students receive an induction.

  • PF Recommendation 28:
    Action: We do not have a policy or current practice requiring staff can only have two Sundays off per year. If staff require or desire a Sunday off, the normal leave process applies.

  • PF Recommendation 30:
    Action: Staff have the freedom to decline any job offer or change of role.

Ministry School

  • PF Recommendation 40:
    Action: Every Ministry School student is able to request which area they would like to serve in. They are sent an acceptance letter and have a phone call with the Ministry School coordinator where they discuss their role and either accept or decline the offer given.

  • PF Recommendation 41:
    Action: The Ministry School has set office hours and dedicated study time. These hours are negotiable for each individual in consultation with their supervisor.

  • PF Recommendation 42:
    Action: Laidlaw students within the Ministry School programme have a formal agreement for the recommendations suggested.

  • PF Recommendation 43:
    Action: All Ministry School students have access to professional counselling upon request.

  • PF Recommendation 46:
    Action: Ministry School students are reimbursed for any expenses that were an approved church cost.

Health and Safety

  • PF Recommendation 64:
    Action: Each campus of Arise has a Health and Safety Representative. These representatives meet monthly. There is also a National Health and Safety Committee which consists of representatives from campuses, production teams and staff. There is now a Health, Safety and Wellbeing Advisor who has recently been employed to oversee this nationally.

  • PF Recommendation 66:
    Action: Incidents can be reported through a publicly accessible channel.

  • PF Recommendation 67:
    Action: The Board now receives a regular report on health and safety matters.

  • PF Recommendation 69:
    Action: Youth activities are required to have an approved risk assessment and management strategy. A library of approved activities is held.

Church Engagement

  • PF Recommendation 17:
    Action: We have held an annual women's conference since 2010 and have established women’s Life Groups in every Arise campus. Women are represented in our Arise Board, Leadership Team, and pulpit ministry in every campus.

  • PF Recommendation 18:
    Action: To further engage congregation members with various skills and experience, our Kingdom Business community currently offers a space for the professional/ business people of Arise to connect with each other and church leadership. Key gatherings happen throughout the year in each campus. As well as this, we are drawing on the diverse skills of the newly formed board.


  • PF Recommendation 47:
    Action: The current Board term is until April 2023. Six new members of the Board have been appointed since April 2022.

  • PF Recommendation 53:
    Action: The current Board consists of Tangata whenua chair, three women, and two people of Pacific Island descent.

  • PF Recommendation 56:
    Action: All current members of the Arise Church Board reside in New Zealand, with the majority being members of Arise Church.

  • PF Recommendation 57:
    Action: The Charities Commission is kept up to date with changes to Board trustees in accordance with legal requirements. Sometimes there is a delay before this information is published on their website.

  • PF Recommendation 81:
    Action: The Arise Board keeps a Conflict-of-Interest Register which is updated monthly. This is not currently publicly available.

Work Currently Underway


  • PF Recommendation 1:
    Action: An Arise Māori leadership group was established in 2021. The first hui was held on Thursday 7th April 2022. Campus Kapa Haka groups are being established in Whangarei, Wellington Region and Hamilton.

Pastoral Care

  • PF Recommendation 6:
    Action: Youth and Young Adult Pastors nationwide have received one day training from a professional counsellor in May 2022 concerning conversations and pastoral care of sensitive subjects. We will continue to have regular professional training.

  • PF Recommendation 61:
    Action: Currently all Life Group leaders have access to a document outlining how to support someone in your Life Group struggling with mind health, with a separate document for supporting children struggling with anxiety. This includes guidance on things to say, additional links to further resources, and the recommendation to access professional support and counselling. We will continue to inform leaders of these resources.

    We have taught content in Sunday services and in Life Groups on mind health, with supporting documentation including links on social media for where to go to for additional help.

    Our Youth and Young Adult Pastors continue to have ongoing professional training around supporting people with emotional and mind health challenges.

    Campus Pastors receive group supervision with a professional counsellor every six weeks. Mind Health also provides four webinars per year on a variety of emotional and mental health issues for Life Group Leaders and volunteers. Staff also have access to professional supervision four times a year.

Health and Safety

  • PF Recommendation 70:
    Action: Our Incident Management Policy is currently under review.

  • PF Recommendation 71:
    Action: Incident management at a campus level is the responsibility of the Campus Pastor. Arise has a dedicated Health, Safety and Wellbeing Advisor who manages this at a national level.

  • PF Recommendation 44:
    Action: The Ministry School Leadership Team are working on a report that will be sent to the Leadership Team, which will include the students' voices. This will be annual. The Ministry School coordinator also gives a report every year to the Leadership Team.

Review Process

  • PF Recommendation 87:
    Action: The Review Advisory Committee is being established to monitor progress of implementing change. The Board and Leadership will regularly assess progress.

  • PF Recommendation 71:
    Action: As noted above, all serious matters have been reported to the relevant authorities by Pathfinding. Historical cases that have already been dealt with by Arise and Police do not require an additional response.

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