Yesterday Plunket celebrated its 110th Birthday. For more than a century Plunket has been invited into the homes of families and whānau across the country and touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of babies.

Plunket Chief Executive Amanda Malu says New Zealand communities have changed a lot since 1907, but Plunket’s services are still a valued and vital support for new parents.

“Plunket has grown from a Karitane home for babies in Dunedin, to a national organisation supported by 1500 dedicated staff, and even more volunteers.

“The difference we make in the lives of the children and families is only possible thanks to our expert clinical and community services staff, selfless and hard-working volunteers, and the support of our Kiwi communities. Today is about thanking them,” Amanda Malu said.

Amanda Malu says the focus for the year ahead is about ensuring Plunket’s community services are able to reach all the families and children that need support, not just now, but in another 100 years’ time.

This includes raising several million dollars through Plunket’s 1000-day Raise a Bundle campaign to ensure Plunket’s free community support services, like parenting courses and drop-in family centres, are available where they are needed most.

One of Plunket’s areas of focus has been moving its systems online. Bay of Plenty Clinical Leader and Plunket nurse Annie Fisher has been with Plunket for more than a decade and says even in that time there has been a huge amount of change.

“Digital technology was a blessing following the recent floods in Edgecumbe. Because a lot of our information is recorded on tablets now new babies records were safe and sound in the cloud,” Annie Fisher said.

“Mums with busy schedules expect us to operate online. It makes it easier to map out appointments and means we can plan our day with fewer trips to and from the clinic between visits,” Annie Fisher says.