The founder of the Gloriavale commune and convicted sex offender, Hopeful Christian, has died of cancer at the age of 92.
Also known as Neville Cooper, he established a community known as the "Cooperites" in 1969 in North Canterbury.
The community later moved to the West Coast in the early 1990s and now has about 600 members.
One of his sons Phil Cooper left the commune aged 27.
His mother and some of his children stayed.
Mr Cooper told Checkpoint although he would like to attend his father's funeral, he knew he would not be welcome.
"At the end of the day, that's a tragic part of it - family would love to be there at the funeral but obviously that will never happen.
"I've experienced my mum passing away and not being at her funeral so we know the heartache that that causes."