Gloriavale member says former leader Hopeful Christian ran community like the army

A current member of Gloriavale said the way the late Hopeful Christian ran the isolated West Coast Community was like the army and aligned with the former leader's experience in the military.

Purity Valor gave evidence on the second day of Gloriavale's defence in an Employment Court case examining the role of women in the commune.

Valor has lived at Gloriavale her whole life.

"I am married 30 years with 13 children and 12 grandchildren."

Her own daughter-in-law, Pearl Valor, is one of six women arguing they were employees and not volunteers while living at Gloriavale.

Purity Valor's experience is in stark contrast to the evidence given by her daughter-in-law.

"As a woman here I do not feel downtrodden and subjugated, but rather considered, respected and my opinions are valued."

The 48-year-old said she's experienced several stages of life in the Christian community.

"On reflection, I came to ponder that a lot of the ways Hopeful led our church and community seemed to align with experience of his time in the army or airforce."

Valor said she understands the plaintiffs are bringing this claim to help women in Gloriavale - but the help isn't welcome.

"The way the domestic work is currently operating is different to how it was when the plaintiffs and their witnesses lived here."

Valor said she is not forced to do anything.