Party hats for Huimai Playcentre

Plans are underway for a big party at Huimai Playcentre for their 50th jubilee next month.

“It’s all happening. As part of the opening session all the children have painted a tile at Splashy  and we’re going to pop them in the concrete on the day,” says playcentre treasurer Julie Gofton.

In addition, there will be an open session where the public and former members can visit the current children and see how the centre operates.

“A local Kaumatua will attend and give his blessing, and we will be officially opening our new bike track.”

A jubilee dinner will be held that evening in the Tauhei hall. “We’re really happy to see our playcentre hit this wonderful milestone, it is such an asset to our community.

Playcentre in 1998
The playcentre in 1998.

“We have several mums and dads with their own children, who attended when they were young, which is awesome. Playcentre is an amazing support network, we are all in the same or similar positions and band together to help each other when we can.”

This week sees another milestone – “we have just completed an amazing bike track with the help of our parents and some local small businesses. It’s great for the children because most members do not have concrete areas at home or footpaths for their children to peddle on.”

Julie says the centre plays a big part in building a wonderful community – and it’s not just about the children. “Adults are also empowered. As first teachers for their children, they learn valuable business and administrative skills and can complete an adult education programme. It’s an amazing learning environment.”
The playcentre is a parent-run co-operative, and is very much child-led she says. “I’ve been involved since moving here two and a half years ago. I’m a qualified early childhood teacher, and I’ve been really impressed at the playcentre model. It’s very much learning through play and sessions include music, carpentry, paint and the like.”


  • Huimai Playcentre celebrates its 50th anniversary on Friday 1 July. For more details email Julie Gofton.
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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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