Plunket Nurse Te Rongopai Clay Mackay is fluent in Te Reo and is using her language skills to kōrero when she visits whānau clients for Well Child checks. “I really enjoy being able to share my love of Te Reo and kōrero with new mums about how they are coping, how their child is doing and to answer any questions they may have. “It makes the checks a much warmer and enriching experience for me and my clients.
Plunket made a submission into the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction, a process designed to identify unmet needs and develop recommendations for a better mental health and addiction system for Aotearoa New Zealand. The Inquiry asked people to tell them:
What’s working well?
What’s not working well?
What could be done better?
What sort of society would be best for the mental health of all of our people?
Plunket’s submission is based on an understanding of health and well-being informed by Te Whare Tapa Whā model. The four dimensions of well-being, Taha tinana (physical health), Taha Wairua (spiritual health), Taha whānau (family health), and Taha hinengaro (mental health) are equally important to the well-being of tamariki/children and their whānau and family.
“It feels like a second home. ”
That is how Ashleigh feels about the Papakura Supported Playgroup, where she takes her 15-month-old daughter Hannah up to four times a week. “I started coming after the Plunket Nurse told me about it and thought it would be good for me to go along as I was at home a lot of the time and feeling overwhelmed with Hannah.
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.