Generous celebrities helping Plunket to help kids

Plunket is delighted by the generosity of almost 1,000 people and organisations who have so far raised over $500,000 for the charity at a gala luncheon and auction in Auckland today.

The event was organised by Plunket Foundation Trustee Sir Graham Henry and Foundation co-Chair Professor Richie Poulton (head of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study).

The lunch at Sky City is being attended by a Who’s Who of the sporting world, including Richie McCaw, Gemma Flynn, Brendon McCullum, Lisa Carrington and sponsor Fonterra.

Together they have raised over $400,000, with bidding still under way.

Professor Poulton is a strong supporter of Plunket’s work. His research, and other studies from around the world, show the greatest social good is achieved by investing in a child’s earliest years. 

He said, “Plunket is welcomed into the homes of 90 per cent of children born in New Zealand and with its strong connections within families and communities, it is perfectly placed to help in these pivotal first 1000 days of life.”

Sir Graham wants the country to work as a team to give all children a great start in life. “None of us wants a child to grow up neglected or in hardship. We can and must do better as a nation when it comes to the treatment of children in our country, and every New Zealander has a part to play.”

Plunket Chief Executive Amanda Malu said, “We are extremely humbled by the support being given to us by the 900 people attending this gala lunch. Some very well-known and not so well-known New Zealanders are taking part and also making made sizeable donations.”

Plunket is a charity and while its nurse and clinic visits are funded by its government Well Child contract, the other crucial help it provides to many parents is funded largely by donations. The additional services include free parenting programmes, post-natal depression support, and early childhood learning activities.

The money raised from the gala lunch has been earmarked for extra Plunket community staff to help families struggling to cope in one way or another.

“A third of babies are born to first-time parents, and a third are born into families living in high-deprivation areas. Some are born to teen parents, in some families there is a history of violence, or they are living in cramped, stressful situations. Our community staff work alongside Plunket nurses and within community networks to help connect these vulnerable families with social services, early education groups, parenting groups, foodbanks and the wide range of other support they need,” said Ms Malu.

Public donations to Plunket can be made at

0 Comments Posted by Mamae Munn on 25 November 2016

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