Father blocked from mall's parents room

A Wellington father was refused entry into a mall's parents' room by another mother. Photo:...
A Wellington father was refused entry into a mall's parents' room by another mother. Photo: Supplied via NZ Herald
A Wellington father trying to change his daughter's nappy in the parents' room of a mall was refused entry by a mother already in the room.

Sarah Fa'avale and husband Tua were shopping for a new baby car seat in Queensgate Mall, Lower Hutt, with their 3-month-old daughter Tahani on Thursday afternoon.

When baby Tahani needed a nappy change, Tua did what every parent should do in the mall and took her to the parents' room to change her.

That's where things went wrong.

"When he went to enter however, a lady started yelling at him saying: 'Um, excuse me!!! you can't go in there, there's mums in there!'," Fa'avale wrote on Facebook.

Fa'avale told the Herald her husband was so "taken aback" that he had to leave to go find her to change the baby's nappy, "as all this time she was sitting in her poos".

"He would've said something to her but he was so shocked that someone would say that in front of a parents' room in this day and age, and also didn't want to cause a scene in front of children," she added.

One day after the incident, the family is still pretty shaken by what happened.

"We're still pretty shocked, still can't believe it," she said. "What if I hadn't been there? What if it had been a same-sex couple? It's just crazy."

"We are in 2018! I am absolutely gobsmacked that in this day and age a new father can't change his own daughter's nappy in a parents room," she said in her Facebook post.

This was Tua's first time trying to use a parents' room in a mall to change his baby's nappy and the family could not believe the reaction of the mother in the room.

Fa'avale contacted the management of Queensgate to place a complaint and said they were "very apologetic" and quick to respond. They even checked in with the family the following day.

While the management can't locate the woman who stopped the father from entering the room, they have told the family they plan to put up new signs to ensure it is clear that any parent or caregiver can use the room, regardless of their gender.

The Queensgate Shopping Centre website explicity states that the parents' rooms are not just for mothers. "Anyone looking after small children is welcome," it says.


If the room was for changing baby nappies and not a parent's toilet room it should not have been an issue.Was the issue about mothers breastfeeding in the room?