Plunket welcomes greater support for families with young children

Plunket welcomes the Labour Party’s pre-election policy announcement of increased funding for more Plunket/Well Child Tamariki Ora health visits. 

“Plunket welcomes policies to increase support for families with young children, particularly those in vulnerable circumstances, from parties across the political spectrum,” said Plunket’s Chief Executive Amanda Malu.

Plunket is the largest provider of the Ministry of Health’s Well Child Tamariki Ora service, with Plunket nurses and health-workers welcomed in to 9 in 10 homes with newborns in New Zealand. Plunket’s community services such as playgroups are funded by donations.

The Well Child Tamariki Ora service is universal – all families in New Zealand are entitled to free health assessments for children aged 0-5. In 2015/16, around a third of Plunket’s total contacts were with families in the highest deprivation areas.

The Labour Party announced the policy for more Well Child Tamariki Ora nurse visits targeted at vulnerable families when visiting a playgroup at Plunket’s Onekawa hub in Napier today.

“Families circumstances can change quite rapidly, so the universal service means nurses can identify vulnerability and respond where and when families need increased support,” said Plunket Chief Executive Amanda Malu. “Along with their clinical expertise, Plunket nurses and health-workers are skilled at building relationships with families, connecting them with other health professionals to ensure families get the right support. Often families in vulnerable circumstances have complex needs, and it's by working with other health professionals and service providers - from midwives to social workers - that we can make the difference of a lifetime.” 

Plunket is calling on all political parties to commit to policies that address the inequity of health outcomes among New Zealand’s tamariki and whānau. “Along with increasing frontline services, politicians have an important role to play in tackling systemic issues that are having an unacceptable impact on children’s health, such as poverty and inadequate housing.”

Notes to editors

  • There are around 670 Plunket nurses, kaiawhina and health-workers
  • Plunket is a charity and provides support to families through a range of community services such as playgroups, parenting courses, parent support groups, injury prevention education & community development initiatives, these are funded by donations.
  • Plunket provides health assessments by home visits, in clinics, through Plunket mobile clinics, and by partnering with a wide range of other health providers, such as Ministry of Education teen parent units.
  • PlunketLine is the 24/7 helpline for parents, staffed by Plunket nurses. It’s free and you don’t need to be enrolled with Plunket to call.

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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 Sponsor

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.

11 September 2017

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