In May Plunket celebrated our 105th Anniversary, a major milestone for any organisation.
Plunket CEO Jenny Prince says that from small beginnings in 1907, Plunket is now the largest provider of support services for the development, health and wellbeing of children in New Zealand.
“Plunket is as much a part of our culture as the haka and pavlova. 9 out of 10 babies in New Zealand are ‘Plunket babies’.
“Plunket was established out of a direct need to support parents. 105 years on, the way we support families may have changed but our mission remains the same - working with parents and communities to ensure that New Zealand children get the best start in life.”
Patron, Lt Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, Governor-General of New Zealand, says Plunket holds an esteemed place in the community.
“Plunket is an organisation that is trusted and valued by New Zealanders because it promotes those things that are important to us—protecting and caring for our greatest taonga, our babies and young children.
“For the majority of us, our first steps were supported by the care and advice given by a Plunket Nurse. Many Kiwis probably still have their own Plunket book detailing their growth and development as a baby. I still have mine!
“Lady Plunket, the wife of Lord Plunket, Governor from 1904 to 1910, was Plunket’s first Patron and gave the organisation its name. Since then, Governors and Governors-General have been Patrons and it is an honour and privilege for me to carry that tradition on.”
Plunket was founded in 1907 in Dunedin by child health visionary, Sir Fredric Truby King. Plunket nurses quickly became a vital line of support for mothers and babies throughout New Zealand and Plunket’s philosophy soon became parenting lore.
“Plunket has a history of innovation and the way we communicate with families and whānau has changed enormously over the past 105 years,” says Mrs Prince.
“From paper-based telegrams to the internet – Plunket has kept abreast, ensuring that the service we provide is made known to those that need it.
“It is people though who are the most important part of Plunket. More than 600 clinical staff and 6,000 volunteers that represent and carry out Plunket’s good work will ensure Plunket’s survival for many years to come.”