Plunket nurse weighing a baby

Plunket nurse weighing a baby

A nurse weighing a baby at the Waterloo Plunket Rooms in the 1950s.

Despite the significant differences between Māori and Pākehā, and between urban and rural New Zealanders, most children and their parents received the benefits of extensive social services. Most would meet a Plunket nurse, either in their own homes or in purpose-built Plunket Rooms such as this one in the Hutt Valley suburb of Waterloo. Weighing babies and toddlers was part of a Plunket ritual: the society’s founder, Frederic Truby King, had seen weight gain in babies as a measure of the success of the organisation.

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