An Auckland businessman reportedly bidding on the New Zealand Warriors has been caught up in a legal battle over a daycare centre he co-owns.
Paul Davys, a co-director of ChoiceKids Ormiston in South Auckland, is negotiating the purchase of the Kiwi NRL franchise off owner Eric Watson.
The Ministry of Education has shut down the daycare centre and is prosecuting it after it was found to be operating without a licence.
The sudden closure has come after repeated warnings from the Ministry regarding the centre's certification.
Former Kiwis international Peter Brown and Davys are co-directors of the business.
The Ministry of Education was made aware of the unlicenced early childhood education centre in late July.
"We immediately contacted the service provider to inform them that this was unlawful, required the service to cease operating and told them they must advise all parents of this."
Head of Sector Enablement and Support, Katrina Casey, told the Herald the preschool continued to operate despite the Ministry's "repeated requests'' to close down.
"This was unacceptable and we commenced a prosecution under the Education Act 1989,'' she said.
"We can confirm that the centre has now ceased operations.''
The Ministry has also provided help to parents with children enrolled at the centre who were forced to make alternative ECE arrangements as a result of the closure.
All parents have been notified by the Ministry of the reasons for the centre's closure.
A woman who works at another nearby childcare centre told the Herald ChoiceKids Ormiston opened about a month before it was closed down, which it's understood happened earlier this week.
About 10 to 15 parents who said their children had been at ChoiceKids Ormiston had contacted her centre since Tuesday asking to enroll their kids immediately, but unfortunately the centre didn't have capacity, she said.
The Ministry of Education also confirmed it had never provided operational funding to the centre.
ChoiceKids has since submitted a license application, which the Ministry is now considering.
It is not known exactly how long the centre has been operating. However, audit visits carried out by the Ministry showed the confirmed first attendance record on June 1.
"This isn't a definitive confirmation of how long they have been operating, just the earliest record we have been able to source."
The Herald has made repeated attempts to contact Davys and Brown for comment but calls have gone unanswered this evening.
Warriors boss Jim Doyle declined to comment, saying it had nothing to do with the Warriors.