Plans to increase paid parental leave an ‘investment in New Zealand’s future’ – Plunket

Plunket welcomes the government’s plan to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks from 2020 as an important investment in families, and in New Zealand’s future.

The Government yesterday announced it would increase the duration of parental leave entitlements to 22 weeks from 1 July 2018, extending further to 26 weeks from 1 July 2020.

“Extended paid parental leave is recognized globally as providing significant benefits to tamariki, whānau and communities,” said Plunket Chief Executive Amanda Malu. “We are pleased to see the new government prioritizing action that benefits families so early on.”

She said new mothers experience improved mental and physical health as a result of extended leave: “The evidence shows extended parental leave allows for a stronger parental attachment between mum and baby, and between family and baby. Other benefits are higher immunization rates and increases in length of exclusive breastfeeding,” said Malu.

Plunket has been advocating for 26 paid parental leave for many years, welcoming successive governments’ policies to incrementally extend paid parental leave over the years.

“The first six months of a child’s life is a crucial time for the establishment of the mother and infant relationship, breastfeeding, and building community connections.  It’s a time where parents are adjusting to their new way of life and learning about their own needs and the needs of their growing baby,” said Plunket’s Amanda Malu. 

She encouraged employers and communities to support the increase: “Investing in the first 1000 days of a child’s life is an investment in families today and in New Zealand’s future. If we can all work to support families to give their children the very best start in these early days – then we all benefit as a society as a result. There will be better health and better life outcomes for children if we get things right in those early years.”

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For more information contact:

Plunket Communications Advisor Mamae Munn

Phone: 021 405 842  Email:  

 About Plunket

For over a century Plunket has supported New Zealand parents to nurture healthy, happy kiwi babies. 

Plunket is a not-for-profit organisation and is New Zealand’s largest provider of services to support the health and development of children under five. 

Plunket is dedicated to working with parents and communities to ensure that New Zealand children get the best start in life. Plunket’s services help families nationwide, through over 300 branches, mobile clinics and a free phone service PlunketLine, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (0800 933 922).

Plunket services are available free to families in New Zealand with children aged 0 to 5. As registered nurses with a postgraduate qualification, Plunket nurses are able to offer high standards of expertise and a range of services to families.

For more information visit

About BNZ – Principal Partner

Bank of New Zealand is proud to work hand in hand with Plunket to bring young New Zealand families support when they need it most.

BNZ is proud to have been a part of New Zealand since 1861 and looks forward to supporting another organisation that has been integral to our country's upbringing.


7 November 2017

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