Gloriavale has appointed a former bank executive and hospital boss as its new chief executive.
Phil Jamieson will oversee the community’s business interests.
Jamieson was previously SBS Bank general manager of development and then moved into the role of chief executive officer for Waitaki District Health Services in 2020 and left a year later.
The community has been the subject of investigations in recent years including whether its trust should retain charitable status.
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It is understood Jamieson will run the Christian Church Community Trust, a tax-free registered charity behind the community.
Early in his career, Jamieson led the integration of health services in Auckland as a healthcare consultant. He also has experience working as a volunteer for community health organisations. Jamieson is a strategy expert and the general manager of development role was created for him.
He then moved to Waitaki District Health Services which was contacted by the Southern District Health Board to provide health services in Oamaru and runs Oamaru Hospital.
Christian Church Community Trust chairperson Samuel Valor said Jamieson was appointed after an extensive management search by the trust board.
”Gloriavale has embarked on a journey of change, and this leadership role will be critical in guiding the Trust forward. Although, over the 50 years, we have developed a range of business skills, we have acknowledged that we need the support and input of professional partners to help us in the future.”
Valor said the newly created chief executive role would report to the board of trustees, which comprised of both Gloriavale members and independent trustees.
Jamieson would be “responsible for establishing a long-term strategy for the trust which owns and governs the facilities and assets of the community, to ensure the sustainability of Gloriavale for future generations”.
Valor said Jamieson had extensive senior management experience in both New Zealand and globally, holding both executive and chief executive roles.
“Mr Jamieson has held private and public sector leadership roles across a range of sectors such as banking and finance, health, retail and not for profit,” he said.
He said the appointment also resulted from recommendations and feedback from a range of both internal and external stakeholders and agencies.
Jamieson would work with the community to develop policies, strategy, and procedures/processes. He would also focus on further developing governance and management.
He said Jamieson was not a member of the community but would work both onsite at Haupiri and remotely.
Valor said Jamieson had only started in the role this week and needed to get his “feet under the desk” before speaking to media.
Valor said the trust was formed in 1991 by the community’s founders to provide a legal entity to hold in common all assets for future generations.
The trustees of the Christian Church Community Trust board is currently made up of three independent trustees and four community resident trustees, who all work together to achieve the objectives of the Charitable Trust.
The community at Gloriavale was started in 1990 and is now home to nearly 600 people who seek to live according to the principles of the New Testament and where community members contribute as they are able and share equally what they have, he said.
In May, two senior leaders resigned from their positions and the leadership issued an apology for not protecting members against labour exploitation and sexual abuse.
According to the Christian Church Community Trust’s 2022 annual return, it owns the communal living facilities, a private school, three early childcare centres and eight companies including Air West Coast Ltd, dairy, deer and sheep farms, midwifery services and an offal plant.
Its total assets are $45.5m and earned a profit of $2.3m that year.
Gloriavale Christian Community businesses have been hit with a spate of controversies. Two of its honey companies were banned from using a Mānuka honey trademark and its Moo Chews kids snacks and Pure Vitality health supplements were stripped of their government-endorsed FernMark licences which require holders to be of good character and comply with New Zealand laws.
It came after an Employment Court finding that Gloriavale businesses used child labour and treated workers as volunteers when they were employees entitled to be paid minimum wage.
The court ruling led three meat companies to stop supplying offal to Gloriavale’s meal plant, and the Westland Dairy Company being forced by the High Court to keep collecting milk from three community dairy farms.
The Employment Court in Christchurch is currently hearing claims from six former Gloriavale women members that they should have been paid for years of domestic work, and their evidence has included descriptions of harsh treatment and sexual harassment. The hearing continues in February.