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Whānau Āwhina Plunket Celebrates International Nurses’ Day And 114 Years Of Helping Kiwi Families

Whānau Āwhina Plunket is celebrating two special occasions this month – International Nurses’ Day and the charity’s 114th birthday.

Chief Executive Amanda Malu said Aotearoa has changed a lot since The Society for the Promotion of the Health of Women and Children was founded in 1907, but Whānau Āwhina Plunket’s services are still a valued and vital support for new parents.

“Our nurses have been walking alongside Kiwi families for 114 years. We’ve had the privilege of being invited into the homes of families and whānau across the country and touched the lives of hundreds of thousands – quite possibly millions – of babies,” Ms Malu said.

“While the way we work with families and whānau has changed enormously over the past 114 years, one thing hasn’t – our nurses’ dedication to ensuring in the first 1000 days we make the difference of a lifetime.”

Ms Malu said so many New Zealanders are ‘Plunket babies’, it’s become part of the Kiwi vernacular.

“Whānau Āwhina Plunket is uniquely New Zealand – there’s nothing in the world quite like the free service we offer Kiwi whānau. Our specially trained nurses provide support to parents on childcare and parenting, and regularly assess the health and development of children from birth up to the age of five,” Ms Malu said.

“But there’s much more to our nurses’ role than making sure our pēpi are healthy. Our nurses also help families and whānau connect within their communities to reduce isolation and build whanaungatanga.

“Our 114th birthday and International Nurses’ Day are two fantastic reasons to celebrate our incredible nurses, who’ve been helping whānau for generations.”

Ms Malu said Whānau Āwhina Plunket continues to evolve to provide families and whānau with the support they need to give their tamariki the best start in life.

“We are changing the way we’re delivering our services to reflect a changing Aotearoa, to be a pro-equity organisation, and better meet the needs of Māori and our obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi,” Ms Malu said.

“Whānau Āwhina Pluket is working hard towards equitable outcomes for Māori, Pasifika and other families that are often not able to access the services and support they need.

“In Aotearoa New Zealand, people have differences in healthcare that are not only avoidable but unfair and unjust. Our organisation has a unique opportunity – and an obligation – to help deliver better outcomes for whānau Māori and where appropriate to better support other organisations to deliver services.”

She said Whānau Āwhina Plunket’s nurses are at the heart of the service

“The difference we make in the lives of our tamariki and whānau is only possible thanks to our expert clinical and community services staff, selfless and hard-working volunteers and the support of our Kiwi communities. They have been with us on our journey for more than a century and they continue to shape Whānau Āwhina Plunket’s future as we work towards equitable outcomes for everyone in Aotearoa. Today is about thanking them.”

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