Tēnā koutou katoa

I started my update last month noting that winter appears to have finally arrived and now one month later it is officially Spring. Always a busy time and very much so for Te Whānau Tupu Ngātahi o Aotearoa as we start planning for the AGM and Conference. The AGM announcement and papers are being finalised and will be with you shortly.

September is also a milestone for me as I have now been in my role for a year and it has certainly flown by. The first year in any new role is always important to me as it signals that I have experienced a full year cycle and so have a sense of everything that occurs throughout this time for the organisation I am a part of. With that said I think we are ready for a Spring clean. Time to bring everything out, give the New Zealand Playcentre Federation a dust off and decide how the new Te Whānau Tupu Ngātahi o Aotearoa will look. Hopefully it will spark joy!

Part of this process is the work we are undertaking with the Ministry of Education on our funding and licensing requirements. I mentioned in my August update that “As with all negotiations there will be give and take and the need to compromise” and I’m reliably informed that for some on Playcentre social media this sparked concern. I’m also aware that correspondence between myself and specific individuals has also been shared. Playcentre’s social media vehicles such as Facebook are great for sharing ideas and celebrating our achievements. It is however a very public venue, even those accounts that are supposedly closed groups are in fact open as they now have many members who are no longer part of Playcentre or never actually were. We should all bear that in mind when we discuss issues or share information that it is important during this negotiating process that we are conscious of how we are presenting Playcentre and our ability to work professionally as an organisation.

In response to the concerns about the review of funding and licensing I do want to assure you that any decisions made will certainly be done so with the support of all members via those in governance positions who have been given the mandate by Playcentre Aotearoa members to represent them. Ideally having the whole of Playcentre around the negotiating table would be great, however the practicalities of achieving this is the reason the members of this organisation have given specific individuals the role to represent the entire membership.

We will keep you advised of how things are progressing and at this point it is very early in the process. We are currently compiling specific information at the request of the Ministry on our rural centres, those centres facing significant financial difficulty and the level of paid supervisors employed at Centre level to run sessions. Again, when we require more detailed information we will be approaching members to help us with that.

I am also open to individuals letting me know their views on broader issues that should be considered by contacting me directly so I have set up an email address [email protected] for anyone who has a positive contribution to make about what will improve funding and licensing for Playcentre Aotearoa. I have already had two very helpful suggestions from members (thank you Melissa and Vicki) and welcome more.

And finally if you have the time this is an important piece of work that deserves our consideration https://dpmc.govt.nz/our-programmes/child-and-youth-wellbeing-strategy

Again, thank you for your time in reading this update and for all you do for Playcentre Aotearoa. It is valued and we do appreciate that you have a choice and that you choose Playcentre.


Ka kite anō au i a koutou.

Sean McKinley