|Formation||May 14, 1907|
The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society is an incorporated society in New Zealand which provides a range of health services to healthy babies and young children. The Plunket Society mission is "to ensure that New Zealand children are among the healthiest in the world".
The society is most commonly referred to in the community as "Plunket".
The meeting which led to the foundation of the society was held on 14 May 1907 by Dr Truby King. King was a medical superintendent and lecturer in mental diseases. He believed that by providing support services to parents, the society could ensure children were fed on a nutritious diet, and therefore reduce child mortality rates. He also believed that this would improve adult health as the children got older.
Originally called the Royal New Zealand Society for the Health of Women and Children, Plunket got its name from an early patron of the Society, Victoria Alexandrina Plunket mother of eight and wife of then Governor of New Zealand, William Plunket, 5th Baron Plunket.
The society laboured for many years under the perception that it was set up cater only for European women and their babies, this impression was reinforced by the fact that the Department of Health operated a Native Health Nurse Service specifically for Maori in rural areas.
In 1912, King made a lecture tour on the Plunket Society. In these tours he was highly successful in attracting support for the society, partly because he exaggerated the effect on infant mortality rates. As a result of his tour, 60 new centres opened around New Zealand, each employing a nurse. The centres were badged as Plunket Rooms, however they are now referred to as Plunket Clinics.
In 2005 Keith Paroa Curry became the first male Plunket nurse.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Plunket Society.|
- The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society
- Bibliography on Dr Frederick Truby King
- Developing a Nursing Speciality - Plunket Nursing 1905 - 1920 Thesis by Christine Mary Andrews