Brian Houston said in a statement he found it “agonising” that his father had engaged in “such repulsive acts”, although he recognised it was more painful for the victims of abuse.

Frank Houston was also an important leader and pastor to Paul de Jong, founder of New Zealand’s Life churches. De Jong said he became aware of allegations of abuse by Frank Houston between 2010 and 2012. He said it was a “complete shock and a deep disappointment”.

“My response at the time was that if that was true, there should be no tolerance for it whatsoever, and it needed to be dealt with by the police.”

De Jong said he would provide whatever assistance was required by the New Zealand Royal Commission. “I am more than willing to ensure that we stamp out sexual abuse wherever possible.”

New Zealand Police have found only one record of a complaint against Frank Houston, lodged in 2019. Evidence before the Australian Royal Commission suggested one victim – or his representative – had contacted New Zealand Police about Frank Houston, but was told Houston’s age, health and time away in Australia meant extradition was unlikely.

What happened when.

Assemblies of God leaders, 1965-2005

1965-1977: Frank Houston (died 2004)

1977-1989: Jim Williams (died 2015)

1989-2005: Wayne Hughes

Key events.

1945-1948: Frank Houston allegedly commits abuse at a Salvation Army boys’ home in Temuka. The complaint does not emerge until 2003.

1960: Houston allegedly abuses a small boy, David, in the South Island.

1960-63: Jim Williams allegedly abuses 11-year-old twin sisters Joanne Ridge and Caroline Andrews in Melbourne.

1969-74: Houston abuses Sydney boy Brett Sengstock from age 7 to 12. In 1999 Houston apologises and pays Sengstock A$2000.

Mid-1970s: A young man in Palmerston North tells a visiting pastor Houston sexually assaulted him.

1994: Pastor Don Barry in Hamilton tells two senior ministers in the Assemblies of God about allegations of child sexual abuse by Houston.

1994: Williams is banned from AOG ministry in NZ for his predatory sexual pursuit of women.

1999: Barry tells AOG leaders about two new abuse claims against Houston.

2000: The AOG agrees Houston will never preach again, but neither the NZ nor the Australian AOG will publicly reveal the sex abuse allegations unless forced to do so.

2002: Wayne Hughes writes a confidential letter to AOG ministers, acknowledging “serious sexual offences” by Houston and “sexual failure” by Williams, with no mention of child victims.

2005: Hughes resigns on health grounds after an allegation of sexually inappropriate behaviour with a teenager.

2014: The Royal Commission in Australia hears evidence suggesting up to 10 known victims of Houston’s abuse.