Thursday, 04 August 2022 16:55

$100,000 boost to extend Plunket services

Written by  Staff Reporters
MPI director of rural communities and farming support Nick Story MPI director of rural communities and farming support Nick Story

Funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will enable Plunket to extend its volunteer-driven community services to additional rural communities throughout the South Island.

The $100,000 grant will be used on a range of initiatives over the next year, including playgroups, coffee mornings, injury prevention training and Plunket’s Give People Support Service, which matches families with newborn babies to volunteers who provide extra support.

The latest grant brings total MPI funding to $207,000.

Nick Story, MPI’s director for rural communities and farming support, says Plunket is going the extra mile to ensure people living in remote rural areas are able to access their family support services.

“The regular opportunities for face-to-face contact make a big difference to the health and wellbeing of both parents and their children, and a mix of activities and support is available tailored for each region.”

Story says MPI is helping to extend the reach of Plunket’s services to improve the mental wellbeing of rural people.

“A pillar of the Government and sector’s Fit for a Better World roadmap is ensuring we have strong, thriving and sustainable rural communities, something this… initiative contributes to.”

Support from MPI and other funders will ensure a variety of sessions are hosted across the South Island every week, along with delivery of training workshops and an injury prevention programme.

Plunket community service manager Jane Denley says the regular meetups include playgroups, parent support groups, coffee connection groups, a swim programme for young children, music and movement groups, a baby massage group and a mums’ exercise group. In addition to face-to-face groups, people living rurally are able to access virtual educational sessions called Parenting Bites.  

“These virtual sessions grew out of COVID-19 when whānau and communities were unable to meet face-to face,” says Denley.

She says Plunket aims to continue hosting the Parenting Bites sessions going forward because they’ve been particularly popular with people in rural communities who would otherwise have had to travel for sessions.

More than 10,000 parents, babies, and children participate in Plunket’s Southern Rural Family Support Services each year.

"The uniqueness is that we bring the services to people - removing the barrier of access," says Denley.

“The groups are important because they offer parents the chance to meet others with similar circumstances, and to have honest discussions about what they are experiencing in a supportive and non-judgmental environment."

The community services are open to anyone, not just those who have previously used Plunket services.

More like this

Boost for ag and hort science

Teachers have welcomed a move by the Government to put money into supporting secondary school agricultural and horticultural science and to get more students into a career in the ag and hort sectors.

'Find your fit' campaign launched

A new recruitment campaign called ‘Find Your Fit in Forestry’ has been launched with the aim of drawing attention to the varied career opportunities available in the forestry industry.


Everyone's a winner

Hot on the heels of Bremworth claiming a "win" in its ongoing court case with rival carpet-maker Godfrey Hirst, the…

Carpet battle far from over

Despite claims by NZ carpet manufacturer Bremworth that an international rival has abandoned a court battle about the benefits of…

Feilding boy made good

Malcolm Bailey grew up on a dairy farm near the township of Feilding in the lower North Island.

Winter grazing headaches

A Hawke's Bay-based farm consultant reckons there will be a need for farm system changes next season in order for…

Machinery & Products

New disc cultivator launched

Väderstad has introduced a new disc cultivator – the Carrier XT 425-625 – featuring rotating disc axles, that optimizes results…

JD unlocks its digital system

As a long-term advocate of digital technology, John Deere has taken the route of mass data capture, rather than concentrating…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Full of it!

OPINION: Your old mate was told about some research that proves that what consumers claim and what they actually do…

A better deal?

OPINION: This old mutt has been contacted by a number of members of rural insurer FMG expressing concern about the…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter