Whānau Tree House

Education institution number:
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Not Applicable
Total roll:

78 Lees Grove, Wainuiomata, Lower Hutt

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ERO’s Akanuku | Assurance Review reports provide information about whether a service meets and maintains regulatory standards. Further information about Akanuku | Assurance Reviews is included at the end of this report.

ERO’s Judgement

Regulatory standards
ERO’s judgement



Premises and facilities


Health and safety


Governance, management and administration


At the time of the review, ERO found the service was taking reasonable steps to meet regulatory standards.


Whānau Tree House is a privately owned puna reo located in Wainuiomata that opened in March 2019. The owner and head teacher lead a team of four teachers in the mixed-aged setting. Teachers speak and encourage tamariki to korero i te reo Māori.

This is the first ERO review of the service.

Summary of Review Findings

The philosophy expresses the service’s beliefs and values that are important to whānau. Kaiako provide a programme that allows tamariki to participate in a range of experiences, indoors and outdoors, based on a kaupapa Māori approach using the Māui assessment framework. The service curriculum is inclusive. Whānau aspirations are sought and valued by using them to plan the programme.

Actions for Compliance

Since the onsite visit, the service has provided ERO with evidence that shows it has addressed the following non-compliances:

  • heavy furniture, fixtures and equipment that could fall or topple and cause serious injury or damage are secured
  • the design and layout of the premises support effective adult supervision so that children’s access to the licensed space, indoors, is not unnecessarily limited
  • all indoor furniture and equipment are safe and suitable for their intended use
  • toilet and associated handwashing/drying facilities intended for use by children allow children capable of independent toileting to access them safely without adult help
  • there is a first aid kit that meets the requirements of Appendix 1 and is readily accessible to adults.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education & Care Services 2008 HS6, PF2, PF5, PF20, PF28

Next ERO Review

The next ERO review is likely to be an Akarangi | Quality Evaluation.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

29 October 2020

Information About the Service

Early Childhood Service Name

Whānau Tree House

Profile Number



Lower Hutt

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 5 aged under 2.

Percentage of qualified teachers


Service roll


Gender composition

Male 16, Female 13

Ethnic composition

Māori 16
NZ European/Pākehā 3
Other ethnic groups 10

Review team on site

22 September 2020

Date of this report

29 October 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

First ERO review of the service.

General Information about Assurance Reviews

All services are licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The legal requirements for early childhood services also include the Licensing Criteria for Education and Care Services 2008.

Services must meet the standards in the regulations and the requirements of the licensing criteria to gain and maintain a licence to operate.

ERO undertakes an Akanuku | Assurance Review process in any centre-based service:

  • having its first ERO review – including if it is part of a governing organisation
  • previously identified as ‘not well placed’ or ‘requiring further development’
  • that has moved from a provisional to a full licence
  • that have been re-licenced due to a change of ownership
  • where an Akanuku | Assurance Review process is determined to be appropriate.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

All early childhood services are required to promote children’s health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements. Before the review, the staff and management of a service completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

As part of an Akanuku | Assurance Review ERO assesses whether the regulated standards are being met. In particular, ERO looks at a service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)
  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)
  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher certification; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

As part of an Akanuku | Assurance Review ERO also gathers and records evidence through:

  • discussions with those involved in the service
  • consideration of relevant documentation, including the implementation of health and safety systems
  • observations of the environment/premises, curriculum implementation and teaching practice.