Plunket chief comes full circle

Plunket New Zealand president Christine Lake (left) and chief executive Amanda Malu following a hikoi to Plunket founder Truby King's Karitane home. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Plunket New Zealand president Christine Lake (left) and chief executive Amanda Malu following a hikoi to Plunket founder Truby King's Karitane home. Photo: Gregor Richardson
A hikoi marking the 110th anniversary of the opening of the first Karitane hospital was a homecoming of sorts for Plunket chief executive Amanda Malu.

While she was born in Blenheim and raised in Christchurch, Mrs Malu said she always knew her whanau came from the Dunedin area.

After doing some research, she found her great great grandmother was one of the midwives who worked with founder Truby King, and the first Plunket baby, Thomas ''Mutu'' Ellison, was her great uncle.

Now living in Wellington, Mrs Malu was in Karitane yesterday to join Plunket staff, volunteers, children from Karitane School and descendants of Thomas Ellison on the hikoi from Puketeraki Marae to Sir Truby's home.

She said the walk was a symbolic act.

The hikoi recognised the history of Plunket and Kati Huirapa, and the organisation paid tribute to Mere Hipi and Ria Tikini, the midwives who worked alongside Sir Truby.

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