Sir Ray seeks Queenstown’s help for Plunket


Queenstowners are being tapped to contribute to the $15 million digitisation of New Zealand’s child health service Plunket.

Plunket Foundation chairman and renowned scientist/inventor Sir Ray Avery and Plunket boss Jenny Prince visited Queenstown last week to drum up support for a world-first innovation, PlunketPlus.

The system will see Plunket nurses, who visit 91 per cent of NZ’s babies, record information on hand-held tablet computers – not only saving time but also building up a national child-health database.

Avery: “If you think about things like glue ear, we have no idea what the incidence is.

“But with these tablets we can track it down.

“All that information used to be lost in a filing system or in your Plunket book which was in your bottom drawer.

“This will be the safest place in the world to bring up kids because we’ll have this system which is watching what’s going on.”

Plunket has so far raised more than $8.9m and has 10 Auckland nurses testing the tablets in the field.

Local investor Sir Eion Edgar, an advisor to Plunket for almost 40 years, introduced Avery and Prince to potential supporters in Queenstown and Jillian and Dick Jardine hosted them at a function attended by 40 people.