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Plunket to present 53,000 plus petition

25 June 2006

53,000 plus petition to be presented to Parliament by Plunket

The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society is to present a petition to Parliament on Tuesday 27 June at 12:30pm in support of restoring Government funding to its national telephone helpline – PlunketLine.

The presentation will be made on the steps of Parliament by Plunket National President Kaye Crowther to a group of MPs representing the parties that have supported Plunket on this matter.

This will follow a parade of Plunket supporters that will start at the Civic Centre in Wellington at 11:30am and make its way through the city to Parliament.

“We have collected more than 53,000 signatures in five weeks and could have collected that many again such is the level of support for PlunketLine in the community”, says Mrs Crowther.

“However, we wanted to get the petition to Parliament as quickly as possible to make clear what New Zealanders think about the treatment that has been meted out to PlunketLine by the bureaucrats.

“This petition has been signed by people across generations because 92% of New Zealanders are Plunket “babies” and who recognise the vital role Plunket and PlunketLine play in our society.

“We are also urging supporters to join us on our parade through Wellington and at Parliament. The depth of community feeling is indicated by the fact that some local areas are organising their own gatherings because they cannot be present in Wellington.

“In 1999 Labour campaigned against the then Government for PlunketLine as part of its election campaign. Now in 2006 it is likely Labour will be the only party not supporting PlunketLine. We find this difficult to understand.

“This telephone service, founded and for years funded by Plunket, will not be ripped away from Plunket and turned into just another service run by faceless bureaucrats. It is an example of our communities looking after themselves by helping mothers and children and supporting families and we intend to make that clear to Members of Parliament and the Government,” says Mrs Crowther.

ENDS

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