Police say their investigation into the Gloriavale Christian Community will take "some time to complete", after it was revealed five children were taken into Child, Youth and Family care for several weeks.
Police began looking into Gloriavale in late April, headed by Tasman Police district commander Superintendent Karyn Malthus, who headed the "Roast Busters" sex abuse investigation in Auckland.
"Our investigation is ongoing and expected to take some time to complete," a police spokeswoman said this morning.
"We are still speaking with people who have come forward to discuss their experiences while at Gloriavale."
For privacy reasons police were not discussing anything about those approaches, the spokeswoman said.
The Sunday Star-Times reported five brothers and sisters had been temporarily removed by social workers.
Gloriavale leader Fervent Stedfast told the paper they were now "healthy and happy" back with their parents at the Haupiri community.
The paper said CYFs was reportedly investigating claims the five children, believed to be aged between seven and 15, had been subjected to physical abuse including being smacked hard and beaten with sticks.
Allegations of physical and sexual abuse inside the closed community were levelled at Gloriavale earlier this year by people who had left the community.
The sisters of those uplifted told TV3's Campbell Live in April they were both subjected to sexual, verbal and physical abuse inside the community. One alleged she was kept alone in a primitive bush hut as punishment for a relationship. The sisters said they had been beaten from the age of five.
The sisters also claimed they had been forced to fast because the community leaders considered them overweight.
They told the Sunday Star Times they had not seen their brothers and sisters while they were in care and only knew their siblings had been taken when their estranged mother contacted them from inside Gloriavale to ask if they knew of their whereabouts.
Hopeful Christian, who leads the community, was jailed after he was found guilty of three charges of sexual abuse on young community members at his second trial 20 years ago.
- Greymouth Star