27 Jan 2018

Plunket 'will still provide' despite cuts - former president

2:57 pm on 27 January 2018

If a proposed restructure goes ahead at Plunket, it will still provide well for families, a former president of the organisation says.

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Photo: Alexander Turnbull Library

Plunket is in consultation over a proposal to cut 53 positions in its central region and create 34 new ones, a net loss of 19 jobs.

Roles affected included those in leadership, administration, and community services.

Community services Plunket provides include parenting education, toy libraries, drop-in centres and playgroups.

Plunket's nursing services, which include the government-funded Well Child checks, are outside the scope of the proposed restructure.

Former president Kaye Crowther said Plunket did not make changes unless it needed to, and had done so many times since it was set up more than 100 years ago.

She said if they did not make those changes they might not be relevant to young families today.

"They will have considered very hard about the changes that they're making, so that access for young families and ... providing the best, is the most important thing.

"I have every faith in volunteers, staff, and management that are there now. It's always evolving and that's what's made Plunket unique and iconic to New Zealand."

Ms Crowther said communities drove what was needed in communities, and Plunket had done that throughout its history.

"I don't see that there'll be any change to that, if the need's there the families and community will drive it."

Plunket said no decisions had been made on the restructure, and sought to reassure families they could use the service as normal.

Spokesperson Jen Riches said the organisation had discussed with its staff areas of duplication and where it could increase efficiency to work out the best way to help families with young children.

She said Plunket's aim was to provide families with the support they needed, and to improve the health and well-being of young children.

Plunket's central region covers all areas south of Auckland, from Hamilton through to Wellington.

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