The months since our last newsletter have been very eventful ones throughout Plunket.
March was our Annual Appeal and it started in spectacular fashion with New Zealand’s Super Rugby teams taking to the field wearing special Plunket charity jerseys at the two local matches on March 2 and 3.
Plunket’s Principal Sponsor, the BNZ, is also in its third year as major sponsor of New Zealand’s Super Rugby teams. BNZ sacrificed their logo for Plunket’s to help raise funds and awareness. We couldn’t have dreamed of a better way to start our Appeal.
The stars of our 2012 Appeal were undoubtedly our little blue Plunket bears. The bears were available at BNZ stores and a bear, better known as ‘Big Blue’, travelled around the country meeting and getting cuddles from all sorts of people!
On behalf of all of Plunket we would like to say a huge thank you to our sponsors and business partners and everyone who supported us during Appeal. This year $739,000 was raised, which is a wonderful result.
In May we celebrated our 105th Anniversary, a significant achievement for any organisation. It was a great opportunity to stop and reflect on our history, the reasons we were started and the journey we have been on during these past 105 years. Our focus has always been giving children the best start in life and we know that will remain central to anything we do for the next 105 years.
Also important to Plunket’s growth and success in communities is the link we have through our volunteer family. In 2011 a major review of our governance structure and roles was undertaken. The recommended changes will see new Area Boards formed, better representation of Maori on the Area Boards, and for the first time in our history independence on our National Board. The new Area Boards will come into effect on 1 July. This work has been key to make sure we are structured to work best in the communities we support, in ways that are relevant to those local communities.
Work on our new purpose built technology system PlunketPlus continues and the first phase will be launched in Auckland by the end of the year. This system will enable a synergy between Plunket services and eventually health professionals outside of Plunket. This will streamline processes to support our mission of improving health outcomes for children in New Zealand. This multimillion dollar project will be the first of its kind in New Zealand and is in fact world leading.
While we may have celebrated our 105th Birthday recently we are a very different organisation to that which was started more than 100 years ago. We continue to strive to be relevant to today’s families and communities and will change as needed to ensure that is always the case.
This is a really exciting time for Plunket with the opportunity for some big changes. We look forward to sharing more with you in our next newsletter.