The Paediatric Society of New Zealand is a not-for-profit charitable organisation founded in 1947 in recognition of the special health and developmental needs of children. The Society’s membership works collaboratively with other societies, government departments and institutions which have similar goals, to create a better New Zealand for tamariki and rangatahi. The work is accomplished through the efforts of Society members, who on the whole voluntarily provide their expertise. The society’s work is supported by several administrative and managerial staff.
The Paediatric Society of New Zealand (PSNZ) was founded in 1946 in Auckland by a group of General Practitioners and Paediatricians led by Dr S L Ludbrook, who became the inaugural President of the Society. The first AGM held 14 May 1947 and attended by 32 members.
The aims and objectives were:
"to stimulate interest in and to promote the scientific study of child health and Paediatrics in New Zealand, and to engage in all activities, clinical and educational, which in the opinion of the Society, may be necessary from time to time in the interest of child health".
Annual Scientific Meetings (ASM) commenced and these meetings remain a significant feature in today's PSNZ calendar. The meetings featured New Zealand and overseas experts in child health, papers on current topics of interest were presented, and positive relationships were established with various agencies, including relevant Government Departments. The PSNZ has striven to promote undergraduate and postgraduate teaching of Paediatrics, and played a significant role in persuading Government and the University of Otago to establish the first Chair in Paediatrics in NZ, to which Professor J W Watt was appointed in 1967.
Initially the majority of PSNZ members were paediatricians. The Constitution has been amended several times since 2000, and membership of the Society is now open to “nurses, medical practitioners or allied health professionals who hold current registration with their regulatory body, and managers, purchasers/commissioners and public servants involved in child health policy, who have demonstrated evidence of ongoing education in child and youth health, are recognised by member colleagues of the Society as being committed, are contributing to child and youth health, and whose applications are endorsed by the Council. This has enabled the Annual Scientific Meetings to be multi-disciplinary, reflects today's paediatric practices, provides a stronger community voice, has credibility with Government agencies, and is a world leader in multidisciplinary membership of a professional organisation.
Since 2010 the Ministry of Health (MOH) has contracted the Paediatric Society to provide a New Zealand Child and Youth Clinical Network Programme.
A number of other initiatives have been promoted and supported by PSNZ and the MOH including the KidsHealth website, NZ Paediatric Surveillance Unit, NZ Child & Youth Epidemiology Service and until recently, NZ Telemedicine.
As a multi-disciplinary society we are able to promote and influence pathways for improving the health and wellbeing being of tamariki and rangatahi at a local, regional, and national level and, as relevant and within capacity boundaries, in the Pacific basin.
The Paediatric Society of New Zealand believes all tamariki and rangatahi should, by right, attain optimal physical, mental and social health and well-being. By working as a coordinated national network of health professionals the Society dedicates its efforts and resources to this end.