Lawyer prepares action over Gloriavale expulsion

A lawyer acting for a former Gloriavale member is preparing to take legal action against the fundamentalist Christian community.

John Ready was kicked out of the sect after being caught with "religious contraband".

He was sacked from his job, ordered to leave with $1000 in his pocket and coerced into transferring Working for Families tax credits back to Gloriavale.

Lawyer Grant Cameron says Gloriavale leaders' actions have breached a number of laws.

"It seems that people there are not actually being paid in the conventional sense," he says.

"Any profits that are derived from their provision of their services seem to go to the community as a whole, and so there are a whole series of legal questions."

Finance Minister Grant Robertson told The AM Show on Wednesday the Government will "certainly ask some questions about it".

"I've seen the stories that Newshub's been running on this and I'm certainly going to be asking for some advice about that particular issue around Working for Families tax credits," he says.

"It does seem like an unusual arrangement and I want to get some advice to see how that stacks up legally.

"Obviously if someone chooses to have their pay paid into a bank account that's their business. But clearly when the Government's providing support through Working for Families tax credits we've got some interest in how that works."

Mr Cameron says he is also planning on laying a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal for Mr Ready's treatment on the grounds of "religious discrimination".

"It seems that the Gloriavale leadership has caught him with what they regard as religious contraband and he's been banished, as simple as that," he says.

Mr Cameron says his treatment also raises serious concerns about breaches of employment contracts and the Charities Act.

"Proceedings may well be filed with the Employment Court. There are questions for the Charities Services for them to become involved and I think the IRD need to be looking long and hard at how some of the payments have been dealt with."