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New health and social development teams welcomed

Media Release
18 November 2008
For immediate release

Plunket welcomes new health and social development teams

Tony Ryall’s appointment to the health portfolio is welcome news to all involved with Plunket, according to Plunket’s New Zealand President, Carol Becker.

“We look forward to working with the new Minister and his associates, Jonathan Coleman, Tariana Turia and Hon Peter Dunne who we know to be as keen as us to see better outcomes for New Zealand families. We are also delighted Tariana Turia has been appointed Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector.

“With the highest birthrate this year since 1962, we know we have much to achieve and have a long-term commitment to these children and to all under fives and their families.

“It is so welcome to know National is serious and committed to its relationship with Māori. We are pleased to say that 22 per cent of the visits and contacts with our staff and volunteers are with Māori whānau and we are working to ensure the service we provide is meaningful for Māori,” says Mrs Becker.

Mrs Becker said she was delighted to hear in recent weeks of National’s proposed increase in funding for maternity and well child services.
“It is vital that families start to receive Well Child support even before their babies are born to connect them early and effectively with the support they need.”

Mrs Becker says international evidence shows that early contact with a service that provides ongoing care makes a positive difference to the long term outcomes for children.

“At Plunket we know this to be especially important for families with complex needs, who may struggle with a range of health, financial and social issues. Taking a family health service to them, in their own home, at a time of vulnerability and change has been shown to improve outcomes for the family, and particularly children.

“Giving our children the best start in life is vital – it will help us create a better and more successful society. A focus on investment in early childhood – particularly in the first five years – will benefit families most.

“As the full impact of the current economic climate puts more families under stress – Plunket will work with government and other organisations to ensure parents and whānau are connected to the support they need,” says Mrs Becker.


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