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Greens: Restore funding to Plunketline

15 December 2006

Greens call on Government to restore funding to Plunketline

The Green Party strongly supports a recommendation by the Health Select Committee today that the Government restore funding for Plunketline.

The recommendation was made in response to a petition from Plunket requesting that the Government reinstate long-term funding for Plunketline, Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

"We have always argued that a trusted, local, New Zealand-based organisation like Plunket, with a long history of supporting New Zealand parents, should be providing the Well Child telephone advice service for parents in New Zealand, not a company that is an offshoot of a global multinational health business, which does not have a long history in giving advice to New Zealand parents.

"Plunket nurses are rooted in the community, and trusted by New Zealand families who have opened their homes to them for more than 100 years. Plunket is a core service for New Zealand families, and we agree that Plunketline is an integral part of the Plunket's provision of a comprehensive service.

"We congratulate Plunket for self-funding and continuing to operate its telephone service on its own in the meantime, but it cannot continue to do this into the future on its own. We also agree that if Plunketline were to close, that would affect the future viability of the organisation.

"We call on the government to have the courage to admit it made a mistake in not awarding the Well Child telephone service to Plunket, and to restore the funding to Plunketline," Ms Kedgley says.

ENDS

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