Playcentre vote overturned

A 91.75% majority vote to change Playcentre Aotearoa’s constitution has been overruled by some of the organisation’s roopu (governance bodies), Playcentre insiders have revealed.

A screenshot of the playcentre vote, whose majority was overruled by its Roopu. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A screenshot of the playcentre vote, whose majority was overruled by its Roopu. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
One parent, who asked not to be named, said the nationwide vote on Saturday morning was designed to change the parent-led child care education organisation’s constitution to a "trust deed" so — among other issues —  more of the funding it received would go to local playcentres, rather than "98%" going to the administrative body, which operates a bulk-funding model.

In the vote, parents and employees at 366 of 400 playcentres voted yes in favour of change.

However, before any change could come into effect, a separate vote from  the organisation’s roopu needed to be considered.

The organisation’s six roopu are "governance bodies within Playcentre Aotearoa, consisting of whanau Maori, to give whanau Maori an equitable voice in Playcentre governance", which require at least five of the six roopu to agree in order to achieve a consensus.

Four roopu voted in favour and two against, but  the two-thirds  majority was not enough to carry the change.

One parent said reactions at their local playcentre were of disappointment and disbelief.

"We just couldn’t believe it. It’s supposed to be about the kids.

"There was no explanation given by roopu and a lot of parents were quite upset."

The results of the vote were circulated by Playcentre’s board in an email later on Saturday.

"We accept that while the overwhelming majority of our people are ready to move forward with this  trust deed, we haven’t yet reached a place where we can all move forward together," the email said.

Playcentre  Aotearoa has been asked for  comment but its response was not received in time for deadline.

 - Nick Brook