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 EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP TEAM
Pauline A. Winter, Chief Executive Officer
Pauline Winter (Te Ᾱti Awa-Taranaki/Samoa) has been with the Auckland Kindergarten Association since November 2017.
Pauline is guiding the Association through a time of change to strengthen the organisation’s ability to respond to the changing nature of the Tāmaki Makaurau population and the growth of early childhood education opportunities.
Supporting Pauline during this time is a new executive leadership team with a strong focus on supporting teachers and staff to continue the legacy of what Aucklanders and New Zealanders have been part of for over 100 years – the Kindergarten experience.
Pauline has a business background having run her own consultancy and a small light manufacturing enterprise. She has also held Chief Executive positions in the NGO sector and the Public Service in Wellington.
Pauline has held governance roles on several Private/Public boards and also holds community advisory positions.
A former Westmere Kindergarten child, she has been a Playcentre mother and worked in the Adult Community Education sector and tertiary education. She also served as a Commissioner on the TEC board.
Pauline Winter is a previous Pacific Business Woman of the Year and was awarded a Queen’s Service Order (QSO) in 2008 acknowledging her work to business and Pacific communities.
Richard Selave, Group Manager - Transition
Simeon Wright, Chief Financial Officer
As the Association’s Chief Financial Officer, I lead the property, finance and ICT teams, which serve our kindergarten and centre staff. Our role is to ensure they have the necessary support to deliver the highest quality experience to the tamariki of Tamaki Makaurau.
I am committed to the long-term sustainability of the organisation, business excellence and risk management. With a background in finance, I bring to this role over 20 years’ experience in a wide range of sectors, from professional services, finance and property through to technology, food and support services in New Zealand as well as in the UK.
My connection with kindergarten started as a boy in Otago and both my children attended Devonport Kindergarten where they really thrived. To this day, the fond memories of their happy times as kindy kids drive them back each year to visit on open days. Both my experience, and that of my children, remind me each day about the value of kindergartens and the need to ensure the future of the Association for the next 100 years.
Casey Taylor, General Manager - Community Engagement
My connection with Auckland Kindergarten Association goes back to when I was a kindy kid at Mt Roskill Kindergarten and has followed on as an adult with my teacher training with the AKA through to sending my own son to Mission Bay Kindergarten. As a mother of two young boys along with a background in education, I am passionate about play-based learning and the benefits this brings to children.
I believe that the Association brings something unique to Auckland’s early childhood education (ECE) offering. With an amazing history of over 110 years, Auckland Kindergarten Association ensures early childhood education is accessible for all children, placing tamariki learning and well-being at the heart of everything we do. I feel choice is important when it comes to selecting ECE providers and the Association has a variety of service types to meet whānau aspirations for their tamariki.
I have worked in the ECE sector for over 20 years in a variety of leadership and general management roles. In my professional career, I have been focussed on team culture, building relationships and whanau engagement to create high quality outcomes for our tamariki. I have been fortunate to experience a variety of ECE models over the course of my career and have also worked closely within the areas of ECE compliance and strategy.
Auckland is such a diverse city and as the General Manager of Community Engagement I look forward to supporting the Association with meeting the varying needs of our individual communities and achieving the organisation’s long-term strategy.
Bram Kukler, General Manager - Education & Innovation
I started my career as a nurse in the Netherlands. In New Zealand I spent nearly 30 years in different management positions in Health and Disability services, including intellectual disability services, mental health and addiction, aged care, and child health. For the last 5 years, my efforts have been to improve outcomes for our young tamariki and working in Early Childhood Education with the kindergartens is one of the best ways to achieve this.
This is an exciting time to work for AKA and the kindergarten movement at large as we are focussed and driven to strengthen and grow the movement to provide more tamariki with the opportunity to benefit from the kindergarten experience.
I have a strong focus on collaboration, networking and innovation and believe that by working together we can achieve great outcomes for our young tamariki, and future generations to come. As our communities and society changes over time, we need to ensure we remain relevant and meet the needs of our communities and whānau whilst we maintain that what makes kindergartens the best learning environment for children.