Improve midwifery and maternal mental health services

Mothers are the backbone of many whanau and our wahine are being let down by current midwifery, obstetric and maternal mental health services. 

Hapu mama lack of access to services, including:

  • shortage of community midwives
  • recent midwifery graduates operating without sufficient supervision and support 
  • overworked and understaffed labour and delivery wards at public hospitals, leading to women labouring without appropriate professional support, monitoring and care 
  • lack of postnatal support, including lack of awareness of and access to maternal mental health services 

Years of underfunding and neglect of services for pregnant women is leading to downright dangerous outcomes for our wahine and their whanau. o

Women leaving hospital with physical and emotional trauma feeling neglected, violated, unsafe and unsupported is unacceptable and has long term impacts on the wellbeing of women and their babies.

In particular, women who experience trauma in a medical setting feel frightened and unsafe to seek medical help in future, which is detrimental to their own health and the health of their babies.


  • Increase pay for community midwives
  • Increase funding for labour and delivery wards at hospitals, ensuring staff are appropriately renumerated, staffing levels are safe
  • Ensure new midwives are appropriately supported and supervised 
  • Actively work to promote midwifery as a career and encourage more New Zealanders to enter the profession
  • Make it financially viable for midwives (and others like doctors and nurses) to train to enter the sector, by paying students for their practical placements instead of expecting them to undertake lengthy hospital placements at no pay
  • Increase funding for maternal mental health services and provide more beds for in-patient care (mother and baby units) around New Zealand (currently available in Auckland and Christchurch only). 






Why the contribution is important

A misogynistic health system that treats female patients like second class citizens and does not provide equal pay for a predominantly female workforce (midwives) is unacceptable and Aotearoa deserves better. 

by gmahony on March 11, 2023 at 06:37PM

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