Tēnā koutou katoa,

On behalf of the review team, I wish to acknowledge the many people who have come forward to have their voices heard as part of the review Pathfinding is conducting into Arise church.

To date, 190 people have engaged in the review, either making a written submission or speaking with one of our team of counsellors and psychologists.

We deeply respect the courage people have shown in recounting stories where they have been hurt. The review is also strengthened by the very thoughtful reflections people have offered around changes they would like to see for the future of Arise church.

We note, too, that we have heard from a wide range of people – people from different regions across Aotearoa, current and former members, former staff, and a range of ages and ethnicities.

Throughout this process, we have communicated openly with the New Zealand Police, and have had independent legal advice.

In the interests of formulating and delivering recommendations in a timely manner, we would like to announce that the initial stage of the review will be concluding at 5pm on Thursday 12th May.

This means the external channel for people to come forward and share their stories as part of this review process will have been functional for four weeks. We believe this balances the need to be thorough with our responsibility to make timely recommendations in order to bring about change.

If you have been considering coming forward, we very much encourage you to do so before the window for submissions closes.

We’ve received positive feedback from individuals who have engaged in the process thus far, reflecting that they have felt acknowledged and heard by our team. Please be assured your experiences will be received with understanding and treated with respect. Participation in this process will protect your identity, with your name and any other information which might identify you kept in confidence, unless you consent to being identified for an express purpose.

Again, if you would like your voice to be heard in this review process, we warmly invite you to make contact with us.

Simply email contact@pathfinding.co.nz, or call 0800 274 731 to arrange a time to speak on the phone or by video call.

Ngā Mihi Ki a koutou,

Pathfinding, Arise Church Review Committee – Charlotte Cummings, Chris Clarke and Reverend Frank Ritchie.



Statement from Pathfinding

We sincerely thank those who have bravely come forward to share their story with Pathfinding as part of the Independent Review of Arise Church.
We’re encouraged that there has been a strong response from people who have been in touch so far; here is some more information about the review to assure those still considering coming forward.

  1. All submissions are anonymous. Your name is kept in confidence and any information which might identify you will be excluded from future reporting. At any time, individuals can request and receive Pathfinding’s summary of their submission.
  2. You can submit your thoughts in writing via email, or we can set up a time for you to speak with one of our team.  You’ll be engaging with experienced, registered counsellors. To ensure your confidence and anonymity, we’ve included counsellors from different locations around New Zealand so we can match you with someone outside your region.
  3. The review is truly independent.   Pathfinding’s lead reviewer is Charlotte Cummings, MNZAC. Charlotte is a qualified, experienced counsellor, and is a full member of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors, abiding by the association’s Code of Ethics. She has provided clinical leadership for mental health services and held senior management roles responsible for health and safety, policy development, complaints processes and critical incident management. Additionally, Charlotte holds a Certificate in Supervision for Human Services, a Post-Graduate Diploma of Health endorsed in Mental Health and has completed training in trauma-informed care.Reverend Frank Ritchie and Chris Clarke have agreed to assist as peer reviewers. They will ensure the process is well designed, review a summary of the information gathered, and be closely involved in forming recommendations to the Arise board at the conclusion of the review.

Reverend Frank Ritchie is a well-respected church minister, chaplain and broadcaster who has a genuine commitment to hearing people’s stories and upholding their wellbeing.

Chris Clarke has significant experience in leadership and health, serving as CEO of a District Health Board and World Vision, and now leads an organization supporting and advising charities on appropriate governance and management structures.

Greg Fleming was originally appointed as a peer reviewer due to his experience in the charitable sector. However, Greg has recused himself as a result of a conflict of interest with one of the Trustees of Arise Church.

Pathfinding has involved the New Zealand Police in the review as is good practice to ensure that any matters that may need to be reported to the Police follow the correct procedures. The Police will also be engaged to review collated material and advise whether further follow up or reporting is required.

The Arise board has accepted Pathfinding’s recommendation that Pathfinding will engage 1:1 with all current staff to also ensure their experiences and thoughts are heard. Beyond these meetings, Pathfinding has no ongoing contact with the leadership or staff or Arise Church, while the review is in process. All contact is through the Arise board.

Furthermore, to ensure openness, transparency and accountability, Pathfinding will be publicly releasing its recommendations in full following the conclusion of the review.


Get in touch by email or phone if and when you’re ready.  

Email contact@pathfinding.co.nz, or call 0800 274 731 to arrange a time to speak on the phone or by video call.

The 0800 number cannot be answered 24/7, however, we invite people to leave a message and we’ll return your call.

We’re aiming to get back to people within three business days. Thank you for your understanding.