A former Gloriavale dairy farmer believes he "possibly" beat schoolboys who worked for him following the Employment Court landmark decision.
Yesterday, the court ruled that a group of ex-Gloriavale members were employees at the secretive Christian community - from when they were just 6 years old.
Leavers Hosea Courage, Daniel Pilgrim and Levi Courage took the Christian community to court in a bid to determine their employment status while they lived there and ascertain whether they were wrongly exploited as workers.
The court would hear from leavers about psychological and physical abuse including beatings with "shovel handles, pick handles and hard solid wood".
While running a dairy farm in the secretive Christian community, James Harrison said he "probably" did hit working schoolboys.
"It was the common thing that happened all the time and I did if I think about it. I don't want to think about it I guess."
However, he does not remember any specific incidents.
The landmark decision now opens the door for the leavers to take further court action against Gloriavale.
The court action follows multiple inquiries into the employment status of people living and working at Gloriavale.
Harrison said he was shocked by the Employment Court's decision.
"It was pretty amazing I guess I sort of didn't expect them to rule that was because we have been disappointed over the last few years with the way the Government and the courts have handled things."
Harrison said in the past government departments have "failed miserably" when reviewing Gloriavale.
"Gloriavale has pulled the wool over their eyes and let them see what they wanted them to see."
Harrison said the teenage boys completed the work he now employs staff to do.
"I made the boys work after school cause that was the way the whole thing was structured I was running a dairy farm there and if it wasn't for the schoolboy labour we couldn't have run the dairy farm."