Community Karitane Madeline Lawn, of Queenstown, plays with
Jasper Eckford (left) and Lucas Dorsey (both 2) at the
Queenstown Plunket rooms. Mrs Lawn retired last week after
21 years in the role. Photo by Guy Williams.
The first babies Madeline Lawn helped care for in her
role as a community Karitane are celebrating their 21st
birthdays this year.
The Queenstown woman retired last week after more than two
decades helping mothers and babies, aged from 6 weeks to 2
years, from Glenorchy to Arrowtown.
Her connection to Plunket in Queenstown began 28 years ago,
when she visited the nurse with the youngest of her five
Seven years later, she began working at the Plunket rooms in
Henry St as an administrator.
After 18 months, her manager asked her to train as a
The most rewarding aspect of the job was seeing the
confidence of mothers grow as a result of her efforts.
''They don't want much. They just need an ear to listen to
One of her proudest achievements had been setting up a group
for Japanese mothers that continued today.
She had seen ''huge growth'' in the number of parents and
babies being cared for by Plunket in Queenstown and staff
numbers had grown to seven in the past two decades.
The Plunket rooms had about 10,000 visits from parents and
children each year.