Plunket volunteers are making a difference in communities across New Zealand each day, by being there to support new babies and their families. Plunket Trust Chair Christine Lake says National Volunteer Week provides an opportunity for Plunket to recognise and thank its 1300 volunteers for the amazing work they do. Christine joined Plunket as a volunteer in 2000 to meet people and she still volunteers for Plunket, now in a governance role.
Community consultation (7 – 25 June) begins today to help Plunket better understand the needs of Karori families with children under five years old. Radha Balakrishnan, Plunket’s Chief of Strategy and Performance, says the consultation is an opportunity to hear from hundreds of young families in Karori - so Plunket can be sure it is delivering the services they need most. The future of Plunket’s Karori Crèche will be part of the conversations and consultation.
Plunket's submission on the Child Poverty Reduction Bill
Plunket CEO Amanda Malu says the Child Poverty Reduction Bill is a significant and welcome step in eliminating the devastating impacts of child poverty.
Speaking at today’s Select Committee hearing on the Bill, Ms Malu said it did not go far enough in recognising the importance of the wider ‘village’ to a child’s well-being and the vast disparities for some groups of children, particularly Māori tamariki.
“Plunket sees first-hand the damage done to a child when they grow up in a family and community experiencing poverty.
Plunket is encouraging all pregnant women to get immunised against both whooping cough and influenza. Immunisation Week (30 April – 6 May) this year is all about immunisation from pregnancy onwards. “Immunisation is an important tool in preventing the spread of disease and it’s free”, says Dr Jane O’Malley, Plunket’s Chief Nurse.
The recent wintry blast has signalled that winter is not far away, and Plunket is reminding families that now is a good time to get prepared and stay alert to the dangers from heaters, fireplaces and other sources of winter warmth. “We always advise parents and caregivers to remember the ‘heater-metre rule’. “Heat can build up quickly so keep heaters at least one metre away from bedding, curtains, clothing and furniture and other flammable items,” says Sue Campbell, Plunket’s National Child Safety Advisor.
Statement from Plunket Chief Executive Amanda Malu:
“We’ve heard a wide variety of views, ideas and questions following our decision to no longer provide early childhood education in Karori. Some members of the Karori community understand why we’ve made this difficult decision and others feel it should stay to serve local families. “With over 700 Karori families currently using a wide variety of our services we think it’s important we get the broadest view possible of the needs in this community.
People are talking about Plunket this week and we understand some people are wondering what we are doing. We want to assure New Zealanders that hundreds of dedicated Plunket staff and volunteers up and down the country are doing the same thing today that we’ve been doing for over 110 years – looking after families at one of the most critical and special times of their lives. We continue to do this and our Plunket nursing service is not changing.
Tonight One News ran a story regarding Plunket’s decision to close our Karori crèche and also included mention of our ongoing work with the Culverden community regarding a Plunket property. The story suggested that Plunket was taking or selling the Culverden building. This is not the case.
“Henry-Steven look at me. Where are your ears?” says Louise. The three-year-old who was previously rushing outside to get his rugby ball, lost over the fence, pulls at one of his ears and looks up at his mum.
Plunket/Whānau Āwhina staff and volunteers are being joined by direct descendants of the first ‘Plunket baby’ from Kāti Huirapa whānau today, in a hikoi to mark 110 years of Plunket.
Around 30 Plunket staff and volunteers are making a symbolic journey from Puketeraki Marae to Karitane, birthplace of Plunket and home of its founder Sir Truby King, joined by whānau from Kāti Huirapa and school children from Karitane School. The hikoi marks 110 years of the first Karitane hospital opening its doors, and celebrates the local staff and volunteers today and over Plunket’s history for supporting the health and wellbeing of generations of local whānau and tamariki.