Plunket cuts parenting programme due to lack of funding

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Apr 10, 2022 |

Plunket is cutting its parenting education programme because of lack of funding.

The decision follows a month-long staff consultation, and the loss of five permanent and 17 casual roles.

A further 16 people will have their hours reduced.

Chief Executive Amanda Malu said this is a difficult time for the staff affected by the decision.

“This is a sad day for Plunket. We are proud of our staff and the work they have done for whānau and communities, and we know this programme will be missed.”

“I would like to thank everyone who have been involved over the years and acknowledge what a tough time this is – for the people who have been directly impacted, as well as their managers, colleagues, whānau and communities.”

However, Ms Malu said the charity can no longer afford to run the PEPE programme at its current deficit of $400,000 per annum.

“Like any charity that relies on donations and grants, we have limited resources. We are having to make this tough decision now to ensure that we remain financially resilient for the years ahead.”

“Plunket turns 115 next month and we want to make sure we are here for another 100 years.”

The PEPE courses, which started in 2004, will cease at the end of June.

Facilitators have been running around 600 courses each year attended by around 4000 parents and caregivers.

While the courses usually run in-person, since the arrival of COVID-19 they have run virtually.

Ms Malu is reassuring the community that the PEPE programme is just one type of parenting support on child health and development that Whānau Āwhina Plunket offers.

“As part of our Ministry of Health-funded Well Child Tamariki Ora service, we also offer additional group sessions to parents who need extra support.

Run by our Kaiāwhina and Community Karitāne, these groups are directly targeted at whānau who have been identified by our nurses as needing more help.”

The groups focus on common parenting issues, and connect people who are experiencing the same concerns.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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