Gloriavale lawyer says ex-resident signed away employment rights

Ryan Boswell
Source: 1News

It’s been suggested a former Gloriavale resident signed away her workers’ rights.

Pearl Valor is one of six women fighting for the right to have been treated as an employee, rather than a volunteer while at the West Coast commune.

READ MORE: Two classes of people in Gloriavale - court hears

Gloriavale’s lawyer Phillip Skelton told the Employment Court that Valor had signed Gloriavale’s Declaration of Commitment twice, before leaving in May 2021.

“I must forsake all personal possessions and property, live in equality with all members of the community and have all things in common with them,” read Skelton.

Valor earlier said she had been born and raised at Gloriavale, and had little choice to sign it or she would’ve been kicked out.

“I was conditioned and primed for it,” said Valor.

The court heard that Gloriavale is divided by a class system that favours some.

READ MORE: Former Gloriavale resident details alleged workplace abuse

Valor said her family’s status made life tough even when it came to medical treatment.

“Typically it would be the leaders children but then it would be other that the leaders really like.

“My husband was having seizures for six months before anyone would believe it. They thought he was making it up,” said Valor.

Skelton said the family was still taken care of.

“The idea that everything is held in common enable the community to respond to situations like yours."

The hearing continues.