About Us

Our History

The PSNZ was founded in 1947 by a group of general practitioners and paediatricians aiming to stimulate interest in the scientific study of child health.

Dr S. L. Ludbrook became the inaugural president of the PSNZ, and the first AGM on 14th May 1947 was 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 Meetings commenced and these meetings remain a significant feature in our calendar. The PSNZ played a significant role in persuading Government and the University of Otago to establish the first Chair of Paediatrics in Aotearoa, resulting in the appointment of Professor J. W. Watt in 1967. We continue to actively promote and support undergraduate and postgraduate teaching of paediatrics.

Initially, the majority of PSNZ members were paediatricians. The Constitution has been amended several times since 2000, and membership of the PSNZ is now open to a wide range of professionals involved in child health including: nurses, medical practitioners and allied health professionals, as well as managers, purchasers/commissioners and public servants involved in child health policy. This multi-disciplinary approach has enabled us to strengthen representation and diversity, and better reflect today's paediatric practices and the communities that we serve.