The Auckland Kindergarten Association is a government-funded organisation that operates as a charitable trust. (CC22833)
Auckland Kindergarten Association is governed by a board of nine elected members who are responsible for the governance of the Association. You can read the AKA Constitution here.
The everyday management of the organisation is delegated to the Chief Executive Officer who is supported by a team of specialist staff.
The Auckland Kindergarten Association is made up of 107 kindergartens, five KiNZ all day early learning centres, and five Playgroups. Each kindergarten or KiNZ Centre has a teaching team - typically a head teacher (or Centre Manager) and two to four teachers as well as support staff (this can include Teacher Aides, Relievers and Administrators). The Playgroups are largely run by the families that attend, with support from our Playgroup Co-ordinators.
MEET THE SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM
Pauline a. Winter, QSO
interim Chief Executive Officer
It is a privilege to be filling this interim role for Auckland Kindergarten Association and to work with parents, teachers, support staff, management and the Board while the recruitment process for a permanent CEO is underway.
From a lively(!) four-year-old at Westmere Kindergarten to being a play centre Mum, to leading the first collaboration between our local kindergarten and our local play centre in my role as President of the Waimauku Play Centre Committee, fond memories have grown into a deep respect for the early learning community. I believe in a child-first approach, supported by whanau and community, and I try to always look at things from a range of differing viewpoints.
I have broad experience across the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors and was most recently CEO of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, where I successfully guided the Ministry through a time of intense change.
Prior to the Ministry, I was Director of the Office of Pasifika Advancement at Auckland University of Technology and have held governance roles on several Private/Public boards and am a former Deputy Chief Commissioner for the Transport Accident Investigation Commission.
I have worked with a range of communities, in a range of roles at all levels of the education sector from early learning through to tertiary and it is this experience I believe stands me in good stead to help guide AKA through the months that follow.
This is a crowded space we operate in and we must shine brightly to continue to succeed. I want educators to come to AKA because it fulfils them, I want us to be an employer of choice, I want us to be an exemplar of good practice at every single level, governance, management, operations, ICT and communication, an organisation that continues to be true to the 109 years of history and the thousands of Auckland children and families we count among our successes.
My role at the Association is overseeing a programme of work as we look to the future.
I have always been driven by a desire to contribute in a meaningful way and have long been a proponent of giving children the best start possible so coming to an organisation such as Auckland Kindergarten Association which has quality early learning and community and family engagement at its heart is a wonderful opportunity to marry those ideas.
My background is in organisational development and human resources. I have worked across a number of organisations including the Accident Compensation Corporation, The State Services Commission, Ministry of Justice and the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.
I am thoroughly enjoying what the AKA is about and the opportunity I have to contribute to its next 100 years.
Anne Denham, learning support MANAGER
Kia ora koutou, Ko Anne Denham ahau.
My role at AKA is new and has involved developing an internal learning support system to strengthen the ways we include children, with learning support needs, in the kindergarten programme. I work with a small team of specialists to review and improve processes, identify challenges, opportunities and professional learning needs for teaching teams. It is rewarding to work with teaching teams to remove any barriers to children participating and learning in our kindergartens.
I began my career as a kindergarten teacher in Hamilton before becoming an Early Intervention teacher and then completing a Masters in Educational Psychology. This role enables me to work in an area that I am both passionate and committed to.
Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi engari he toa takitini.
I come not with my own strengths but bring with me the gifts, talents and strengths of my family, tribe and ancestors (Te Whariki, A curriculum for all children)
Cheryl Kirkness, HR Manager
As a Registered Nurse I worked at Auckland District Health Board for many years. I had a career change to Human Resources whilst working at with the District Health Board, where I remained until I was appointed this role with the Auckland Kindergarten Association in 2013.
I believe that the ongoing success and longevity of AKA is reliant on effective leadership. It is a serious responsibility because kindergarten is such an important part of the development of our leaders of the future. I love being a part of that through ensuring we provide a great employment experience for those delivering the education and care in the kindergartens; which supports the AKA to be recognised as a great place to work. This means we are able to attract and retain high calibre employees, which in turn promotes best outcomes for children and families.
In supporting the achievement of AKA’s strategic objectives, my role is to provide sound, credible and accurate information, advice; and viable recommendations to the senior leadership team, to inform decision-making on employment-related issues.
Other than my nursing qualifications I have a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business & Administration (HR Management). I am a member of the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRINZ).
Family and friends are important to me, so time outside of work usually involves activities with them.
Natalie MacKenzie, Professional Practice Manager
Kia ora, early childhood education has been a rich and rewarding part of my life now for over 25 years. I started my first practicum as a student at Parnell and Milford kindergartens before beginning my teaching career at Sturges Road kindergarten.
I then taught at a number of AKA kindergartens before travelling overseas for many years. In London I taught at various schools. I enjoyed teaching children of new immigrant and refugee families.
On my return to New Zealand I started working for the AKA again, and eventually became Head Teacher at Chelsea Kindergarten before taking a Professional Service Managers role.
In my role as Group Manager Education and Practice, I am responsible for leading all aspects of Educational excellence including curriculum, performance and improvement. The purpose of the teams I lead is to provide leadership to teaching teams across the organisation on teaching practice and quality outcomes for children, families and whānau.
I am passionate about early childhood education and I enjoy working with teachers to make a difference for children.