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Plunket's first male nurse Keith Curry started work today in Whangarei, joining the network that delivers child health services nationwide.

Plunket's general manager clinical services, Angela Baldwin, said Plunket was very excited to have a male perspective on the team of 625 nurses.

She didn't know why it had taken to long for a male nurse to join the ranks.

"We're delighted to have Keith on board. A male perspective will bring a new wealth of support for fathers.

"Male nurses have been in mental and district health for a while -- we're not sure why it's taken so long to get a male nurse on board. We advertised for a nurse, and it turns out Keith was for the most suitable applicant," she told NZPA.

Mr Curry has 10 years nursing experience, speaks fluent Maori and has a three-year-old daughter.

He trained at Northland Polytechnic and has previously worked with the Ngati Hine Health Trust, the Diabetes Centre and Northland Health. He is completing his specialist Well Child Health qualifications.

His appointment was timely, Ms Baldwin said.

"Plunket continues to evolve to meet the needs of today's families. Keith brings a wealth of community and clinical experience and a strong commitment to providing support for parents."