21 Dec 2022

Gloriavale says it can't afford lawyers in ongoing court case

7:03 am on 21 December 2022
Overseeing Shepherd of Gloriavale Howard Temple speaking to the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry on 13 October, 2022.

Howard Temple. Photo: Screenshot / Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry

The Gloriavale community has applied to the Employment Court to represent itself for the rest of a hearing, saying it can't afford to pay a legal team.

The community was defending a case brought by six former Gloriavale women, who wanted the court to rule they were employees and not volunteers.

The community's leaders strongly denied the claim.

Spokesperson Samuel Valor said that as one of the defendants in the case, he and the four other shepherds - Howard Temple, Stephen Standfast, Noah Hopeful and Faithful Pilgrim - would conduct their own counsel, with help from Peter Righteous.

Valor said the shepherds were happy with the representation they had in the first part of the trial with Philip Skelton KC and Scott Wilson, but they could not sustain the cost of a legal team.

He said the case was scheduled to take twice as long as originally thought and it was impossible for the community to keep paying the lawyers.

The hearing is set to resume on 13 February.

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