Overview 

The goal of our regional and national leadership is to serve our local churches in the area of complaints, disclosures or allegations of misconduct, so that collectively, the Baptist Churches of New Zealand can ensure that our people and our places are safe.  

Society is becoming increasingly aware of issues of misconduct, bullying, harassment and abuse. If you have been following recent New Zealand media coverage on the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care or have seen the various international media reports on the perils of conflict and power in church settings, you will know the vital importance of ensuring the Baptist Churches of New Zealand respond well to complaints, disclosures or allegations of misconduct. For the sake of those treated poorly in the past, and for the protection of those under our care now and in the future, we must ensure that we address this well. 

We seek: 
  • to provide support and resourcing in the way our movement responds to complaints across every level – locally, regionally and nationally, with robust processes and policies in place that serve the local church to handle concerns and complaints well.  
  • To provide policy that is workable, where roles and expectations of the local church, regional associations and national office are clear.  
  • To have clear guiding principles, definitions and informative tools.  
  • To have support available both regionally, through our Regional Leaders, and nationally, through the use of a point person (the Complaints Manager), who will act as a key liaison with various avenues of expertise, whether that be pastoral, therapeutic, legal, cultural or other.  

Making a complaint  

We recognise that conflict is unavoidable, and relationships get damaged for a variety of reasons. We welcome concerns and complaints and are committed to working through these with a goal of restoration and right relationships for those involved. 

If you would like to make a complaint or raise a concern, please contact the Regional Leader applicable to your region, or alternatively, you can contact our Complaints Manager at the Baptist National Office (as listed below).   

Our team will assist you with information about our complaints process and direct your concern or complaint to the most appropriate person.  

We seek to respond to any concern or complaint professionally, promptly, and with respect for all.  

Regional Leaders

Ruby & Mick Duncan
[email protected] | 027 455 5218
[email protected] | 021 364 100

Baptist National Office Complaints Manager
Kathryn Heslop
[email protected]  | 022 576 2795
Post to: C/O Complaints, PO Box 12149, Penrose, Auckland 1642 

Serious allegation of harassment, abuse or misconduct 

Every person, including every child and young person, is entitled to be safe from harassment or abuse. We recognise that the effects of harassment or abuse can be far reaching and seriously damaging to the emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual health of the victim. Wellbeing, protection and safety is the first and paramount consideration.  

Confidentiality is assured unless as a result of a complaint being made it is believed that the safety of others may be at risk. In this case, the wishes of the complainant or victim regarding our response, must be weighed against such factors, in deciding upon any course of action.  

If a complaint is criminal in nature, complainants will be encouraged to talk to the Police. If there is imminent and serious risk of harm to any person, we may notify the Police ourselves.    

In the case of suspected or known abuse of children or young persons under 17 years, Oranga Tamariki: Ministry for Children should be advised/involved immediately with any subsequent disciplinary action being addressed by our faith community as a consequential issue. 

The role of the Baptist Union of New Zealand 

The Baptist Union is the 250 member churches and faith communities located within six Regional Baptist Associations, governed between annual Assemblies (National Hui) by Assembly Council. Recognising that local churches have their own governing/eldership bodies, the regional and national leadership, through the Associations, Assembly Council and Baptist national office also understand the needs that each of our faith communities may have from time-to-time, for resources and guidance on some of the more difficult issues which confront our churches. 

The Baptist Regional Associations and Baptist national office are committed to encouraging, supporting, and resourcing local Baptist faith communities and their leadership so that they are not only aware of the need to have good and effective complaints documentation and guidelines but are also equipped with knowledge and wisdom as to the processes which may lead to resolution of complaints and the restoration/redemption in the lives of those involved. 

The Baptist Regional Associations and/or Baptist national office may become directly involved in a local faith community complaint or conflict situation, if for example, it owes a duty of care to a church congregation, its members, or volunteers.   

Royal Commission of Inquiry 

The Baptist Union of New Zealand is strongly committed to working with the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, for the sake of past victims of abuse, and to ensure protection of children, young persons and vulnerable adults into the future.   

If you are a survivor of abuse or have questions regarding the Royal Commission and the Baptist Churches of New Zealand or their affiliated entities, we welcome your inquiry through one of our claim’s administrators listed below. 

We have worked closely with our lawyers to put in place an Historic Abuse Claims Policy to provide guidance if a claim of historical abuse arises from the Inquiry. This has been adopted by the Assembly Council and is available here.

Claims Administrator

Kathryn Heslop
[email protected]  | 022 576 2795