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The people save Plunket

As a result of intense public opposition, the Featherston Plunket Clinic will no longer be sold by Whanau Awhina Plunket, after consultation “highlighted its importance in the community”.

There were 19 submissions opposed to the sale and a heated consultation with about 40 members of the community in October last year.

Matthew Kenny – Plunket’s General Manager for Finance, Technology and Commercial – said the organisation has taken public feedback on board and that “it was clear there are valid reasons people don’t want to have to travel to Greytown or Martinborough for their appointments”.

Kenny noted that the initial reason for selling the building was due to the organisation’s belief the building was under-utilized and that selling the property would help the charity financially.

Now that Plunket is keeping the building, which had its funding raised by the community, Kenny is urging people to utilise the service.

“We want the community to support and use the Plunket rooms more.”

This sentiment was reinforced by Featherston Mayor Martin Connelly, who said there is a responsibility on local people to now take advantage of the building and service.

“I’m very grateful to Plunket for listening to the Featherston community and consulting in such an open-minded manner,” Connelly said.

“I think we need to be concerned about this happening again. Plunket has a duty to make sure their scarce resources are used for the best advantage of mothers and babies.

“If the local clinic isn’t going to be reasonably utilised, we would expect them to come back and reconsider.”

Wairarapa MP and Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty said he is delighted by the news.

“I’m a big supporter of Plunket. My Mother was a committee member when I was a child, so I have first-hand experience of the great work Plunket does in Wairarapa and in Featherston.”

McAnulty said he had many people reach out to him with concerns about the proposed building sale and he is “very pleased Whanau Awhina Plunket listened to the community”.

The Featherston clinic holds a playgroup session between 10am and 12pm on Wednesdays and Well Child Tamariki Ora services for half to one day per week.

Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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