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Police, Oranga Tamariki arrive at Gloriavale for multi-agency operation

Newshub logo Newshub 4/05/2021 Kaysha Brownlie
a person in a green field: Watch: Police and Oranga Tamariki have arrived at Gloriavale for a multi-agency operation. © Video - Newshub; Image - Getty Images Watch: Police and Oranga Tamariki have arrived at Gloriavale for a multi-agency operation.

A multi-agency operation is underway at the isolated West Coast Christian community Gloriavale.

Police and Oranga Tamariki arrived there on Monday and are conducting "routine enquiries" which they say may help an ongoing investigation. Sources told Newshub they could be there for some time.

Oranga Tamariki says they are working with police to ensure the safety of children and young people living at Gloriavale.

Police wouldn't confirm the nature of their investigation, but sources have told Newshub it involves allegations of sexual abuse and all young girls between the ages of five and 16 are being interviewed.

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A police spokesperson confirmed to Newshub that staff have been at Gloriavale with Oranga Tamariki.

They say enquiries are ongoing and they don't have any updates to give at the moment. 

a large green field with trees in the background © Provided by Newshub

Victims' advocate Ruth Money is concerned about the way police are handling things.

"Police need to be really noisy and proactive and really upfront," she says.

"Sexual abuse is all about control and shame and silence, so to call [it] a routine enquiry is absolutely the wrong tactic."

On Tuesday, Newshub spoke to some Gloriavale leavers who say they're pleased the police are there.

Gloriavale didn't respond when Newshub contacted them for comment.

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