Playcentre Aotearoa’s Code of Conduct Policy


Our Playcentre Aotearoa Code of Conduct outlines how we expect each other to behave. Our Code of Conduct is to be upheld by all our Playcentre people – whānau Centre members, volunteers, employees and Trustee Board members. It requires us all to act responsibly, with consideration and discretion and respect for the rights, beliefs and values of others at Playcentre, and to provide a strong duty of care for our tamariki.

The purpose of this policy is to:

  • Provide a set of standards and expectations of appropriate conduct in all Playcentre environments for all Playcentre people
  • Form a link into all other Playcentre policy where expectations and undertakings of our Playcentre people are set out

We act in the best interests of Playcentre

•          We pursue Playcentre’s philosophy and commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi

•          We act to protect and grow Playcentre’s reputation

•          We recognise and disclose potential conflicts of interest, and take steps to manage these 1

•          We treat Playcentre’s money and assets with due diligence and transparency. We don’t seek personal gain

We abide and follow our guiding imperatives

•          Being our Constitution, philosophy, and policies as well as governing legislation, education regulations and licensing criteria

•          We ensure the safety and wellbeing of all people at Playcentre

We strive to be the best we each can be

•          We act and communicate professionally

•          We take responsibility for our actions. We are honest

•          We perform our roles and responsibilities to the best of our abilities. We engage in learning and development to assist us in fulfilling these. We are life-long learners

We work together as a team

•          We act in good faith to maintain productive and positive working relationships

•          We work openly and collaboratively across all roles, teams and Playcentre communities

We treat each other with respect

•          In actions and words, we approach each other with courtesy and consideration and without offending

•          We communicate thoughtfully by thinking about the best way to communicate and what to communicate in each situation particularly when using social media and in accordance with our agreed lines of communication

•          We limit the use of confidential information to only for the purposes for which it was acquired and involve only those essentially necessary

We value each other

•          We are inclusive, recognising diversity and behaving without discrimination or harassment 2

•          We make decisions by consensus – where everyone is a valued team member and has the right to contribute to decisions which affect our team, Centre and/or our work

Our Code of Conduct

We avoid any conduct or activities that may raise questions or give a wrong impression as to our honesty, integrity, impartiality, or reputation.

Where there is concern regarding a breach of our Code of Conduct, it should be raised promptly and confidentially with a Manager, Centre President or equivalent.

Playcentre Aotearoa will deal with potential breaches of this Code on a case by case basis. Our policies and procedures for investigating and resolving complaints and misconduct will guide us.

Note: where the circumstances may indicate criminal liability, the matter may be referred to the Police. Any disciplinary action Playcentre Aotearoa may take is quite separate from, and additional to, any action the Police choose to take.

In the event of any conflict between this Code and an employee’s employment agreement, the employment agreement prevails to the extent of that conflict.

1. Disclosing a potential Conflict of Interest

We do not want to place our people in a compromising position due to their knowledge and roles at Playcentre and as it relates to any other responsibilities, relationships, commercial or personal interests. Everyone is expected to declare relationships or business associations that could be considered to be in possible conflict with Playcentre Aotearoa or be of interest. Where such a potential conflict is declared, a decision can be made if there is indeed a conflict or not, and how to mitigate the conflict in any concerns it may raise, for example participation in decision making can be appropriately limited, or managed to ensure both the person and Playcentre Aotearoa are not compromised.

Disclosure should be made prior to appointment to positions of responsibility and at the time of being involved in decision-making and at each instance that a possible conflict of interest has the potential to influence the situation. Where uncertain, advice is available from Regional teams who may seek input from National team. If needed, we will refer to our external advisors.

Examples of potential conflicts of interest:

A conflict of interest may exist where a person’s duties or responsibilities to Playcentre could be affected by some other interest or duty they also have. Conflicts of interest may be financial or may involve a predetermination where individuals may not be willing to fairly consider all relevant information and viewpoints.

Whether or not a conflict exists is assessed on a case-by-case basis. A person’s other interest could be:

  • Holding another role, within or outside of Playcentre (for example Trustee Board member also being a provider of Playcentre programmes)
  • Being an employee, advisor or having some other role in another business or organisation
  • Being an employee of Playcentre Aotearoa as well as a member
  • Owning shares in interests or land that Playcentre may also have interest in
  • Holding strong political views
  • Being a relative or close friend of someone who has an interest in a decision
  • Having received gifts or hospitality or some other benefit

In addition, we must not:

  • Use our facilities, consumables, time, or employees for personal purposes without appropriate approval
  • Claim to represent Playcentre or have Playcentre endorsement when acting privately
  • Direct activities to another provider that Playcentre could otherwise undertake, for example: early childhood education services and adult education programmes in early childhood education, especially if there is personal interest in that provider and without appropriate approval
  • For employees, engage in other employment or participate in another business if it may distract from expected work performance or be in conflict with fulfilling held responsibilities at Playcentre Aotearoa

Our Centres depend upon voluntary support to fulfil various roles and responsibilities.

In the event of circumstances or abilities to fulfil those roles and responsibilities changing, volunteers or Centre members are to notify their Centre President or equivalent or as appropriate to ensure tasks are able to be re-delegated or additional support can be provided in a timely way.

2. Without harassment

Everyone in Playcentre Aotearoa has the right to be

  • valued for who they are and what they believe,
  • treated with dignity and respect, and
  • able to contribute and participate to their full potential – protected from harassment, including sexual and racial harassment, personal harassment and bullying or victimisation.

Harassment is harmful. It has the potential to damage the family and community environments we work very hard to build, and it can negatively impact our tamariki, our people and Playcentre’s reputation.

Anyone feeling harassed or bullied at Playcentre Aotearoa is encouraged to speak up quickly and directly with the other person involved or an appropriate senior position holder be it a Manager or Centre President or equivalent, and as set out in our Complaints Resolution Policy and procedures.

All allegations of harassment will be taken seriously, details will be sought and the allegation treated confidentially and dealt with as quickly, appropriately and fairly as possible. Harassment may be considered serious misconduct and may require employment or membership suspension during investigation, and may result in dismissal for employees and revocation of Playcentre Aotearoa membership for volunteers.

Our “without harassment” undertakings are:

  • To do our best to prevent harassment through our emphasis on our Playcentre philosophy and values
  • To extend our promotion of positive guidance in our interactions with each other as adults as well as with our tamariki
  • To work through to resolve any complaints of harassment once brought to our attention through applying our Complaints Resolution Policy and its associated procedures.

What we mean by harassment:

What it is.

Any unwanted and unwarranted behaviour that a person finds offensive, intimidating or humiliating and is repeated, or significant enough as a single incident, to have a detrimental effect upon a person’s dignity, safety and well-being. It may be verbal, written, pictorial or physical conduct that express hostility, contempt or ridicule for people of a particular race, gender, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation or any other identified group. Examples include offensive or suggestive language (eg: jokes, teasing, rumours and name calling), gestures or pictures, and inappropriate physical contact.

What it is not.

Harassment is not the occasional compliment or a developing friendship, sexual or otherwise, between consenting parties. Harassment or bullying is not issuing reasonable instructions and expecting them to be carried out, or insisting on high standards in terms of quality, safety and team co-operation, or giving critical feedback, having a healthy debate or assertively expressing opinions that are different from others.

People may sometimes cause offence or harm unintentionally. A principle of harassment is that it is not the intention or the behaviour, but the way it is received and the effect it has on the person.