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97 years on and parenting is still a tough job

Media Release

10 May 2004

97 years on and parenting is still a tough job

Plunket volunteers throughout New Zealand will celebrate the founding of Plunket's 97th birthday1 on Friday 14 May.

Kaye Crowther, Plunket's New Zealand president, says that even as the organisation nears its centenary, the job of parenting remains one of the toughest.

"Truby King's key concern in 1907 was the high child mortality rate and the lack of help and advice to new mothers. While the mortality rate has changed, today large numbers of mothers still struggle with caring for their newborns.

"There is no formula to perfect parenting, but Plunket has 97 years of experience in getting it right and developing innovative programmes to help. It is a vibrant and progressive organisation continually seeking ways of helping today's parents.

Take Plunket Line, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last month. While authorities may not have been ready for a telephone health/advice service, New Zealand's mums and dads were, and they have been our greatest supporters and advocates with 5,000 - 6,000 calling the line each month.

"It's 21 years ago that we started the car seat rental scheme. We as mothers saw the need for children to be in car seats when travelling in motor vehicles and today there are 170 Plunket car seat rental schemes supplying car seats to over 20,000 children at any one time.

"Plunket mothers continue to be the volunteers who run safety and parenting programmes in their communities. Volunteers are crucial to Plunket as they add strength to their community. In association with our valued professional staff, Plunket supports the health and well-being of young New Zealand families," says Kaye Crowther.

Plunket rooms and clinics are in most towns and cities in New Zealand and on Friday Plunket mums will be there, celebrating their involvement with the organisation.

"Truby King was right in1907. There was a need for Plunket then, and there is a need for it today," says Kaye Crowther.


1 Founder's Day

Plunket was formed in 1907 following a public meeting called by Dunedin doctor Truby King, who was concerned about the child mortality rate and the lack of help and advice available to new mothers. The date of the meeting was 14 May 1907, which has since become known within Plunket as 'Founder's Day'. The day marks the contribution of both Sir Truby King and the women who first started the organisation. All Plunket branches celebrate Founder's Day in some special way - whether by having a morning tea or picnic, or some other activity to mark the day. Founders Day is, in effect, Plunket's birthday.


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