Kia ora koutou

It is with sadness the Board has accepted the resignation of our Chief Executive Amanda Malu. After almost eight years at Whānau Āwhina Plunket, including six of these as CEO, Amanda is leaving us to take up a new opportunity at ACC.

I know you will join me in farewelling Amanda with a heavy heart, but I am confident we are in great shape with a strong leadership team in place. We are well placed for success as an agile and modern organisation under the new health structure.

Amanda’s vision has significantly transformed Whānau Āwhina Plunket, with highlights including consolidation of the former federated governance structure into the single national trust and organisation, as well as digital transformation (including the implementation of the ePHR) and the ongoing transformation to become a pro equity organisation.

Over the past six years, Amanda’s leadership has seen a demonstrated shift in culture and performance, particularly for Māori whānau. 

She has reclaimed Whānau Āwhina Plunket’s origin story, lifting our founding Tāua out of the footnotes and into their rightful place at the centre of our history and acknowledging our problematic whakapapa in relation to Truby King. Her connection to Mere Harper made this deeply personal to her. A particular highlight was the launch of Whānau Āwhina Plunket’s new brand in Karitāne and Amanda’s openness in acknowledging our need to do better for whānau Māori.

Amanda also established the first Chief Nurse role at Whānau Āwhina Plunket and made two fantastic appointments into this role. This has ensured we are well placed as a leader in the health and development of tamariki under five. Over her tenure, she has led the development of two separate five-year strategies and two Māori strategies.

Behind the scenes, I have admired Amanda’s relentless focus on securing appropriate levels of funding for Whānau Āwhina Plunket from the Ministry of Health, responding to numerous reviews and challenges along the way to securing a $12m baseline uplift in 2019 and agreement on a cost to serve model in 2022.

I know I speak on behalf of the organisation in expressing admiration of the way Amanda’s calm and steady leadership enabled the organisation to continue to deliver services, including new virtual options, during the pandemic. 

Amanda’s last day with us will be Friday 2 September. We will be planning a farewell to thank her for her outstanding service and send her off with our blessing.

Ngā mihi nui


Dame Fran Wilde | Chairperson
Royal New Zealand Plunket Trust