Two Christchurch lawyers have been asked by trustees to lead an independent inquiry into issues arising at Gloriavale.
Lawyers Nicholas Davidson QC and Stephanie Grieve will be given unfettered access to the South Island Christian community, 1 News reported.
"We have been asked by trustees to make independent inquiry of issues arising at Gloriavale," the lawyers said in a statement.
The pair said there is "no fetter on that inquiry".
"That report will go to the trustees for them to respond as they see fit and is confidential to them unless they choose to publish in any forum.
"We will make no public comment unless asked to do so by the trustees".
Gloriavale Leavers' Support Trust spokeswoman Liz Gregory said to 1 News the inquiry showed the trustees might be trying to "strengthen themselves going forward".
"It's extremely significant. It makes them look like they are doing their duty before the law as trustees."
She believed the community's leaders will not want the report to see the light of day as it will uncover "extremely concerning and disturbing information".
"My guess is it's going to be buried."
Gloriavale was founded by convicted sex-offender Neville Cooper, aka Hopeful Christian, in 1969 north of Christchurch, before the community moved to Lake Haupiri in the 1990s.
Former Gloriavale member John Ready has launched a legal case to try and remove the leadership of the West Coast religious commune.
Ready wants the courts to intervene and remove the board of trustees of the Christian Church Community Trust - the registered charity behind Gloriavale – and have them replaced with a public trust "until a fit board can be found".
It's expected that Ready – and his mother Sharon Ready, who has also been named as a plaintiff – along with others, will allege inappropriate sexual conduct inside the community.