Bert Potter, the controversial founder of the Centrepoint spiritual commune, has died in Auckland, aged 86.
Felicity Goodyear-Smith, who is married to Potter's son, told NZ Newswire he died at Middlemore Hospital at 1am on Sunday.
Potter had suffered from progressive Alzheimer's for a number of years and in recent months was moved to a private rest home, Dr Goodyear-Smith said.
He had a fall on Saturday and was admitted to hospital but his condition got progressively worse.
Potter set up Centrepoint near Albany, on Auckland's North Shore in 1977.
In 1990 six men and two women, including Potter, were arrested on assault and rape charges.
Potter was jailed for seven-and-a-half years after he was found guilty of indecently assaulting five girls at the commune aged between three and 15.
He was paroled, and in 1999 and returned to Centrepoint but the community split and he and his followers were forced out.
Centrepoint was a spiritual community which at its height attracted hundreds of people seeking to liberate themselves physically, emotionally and sexually.
It was started after Potter made a journey to India to meet a guru and developed plans for a self-supporting community.Potter's funeral will be held in Auckland on May 12.
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