2020 International Year of the Midwife


Every day our midwives welcome around 168 new babies into the world in Aotearoa New Zealand. Midwives are at the birth of every baby - in homes, in primary maternity units; in hospitals. Midwives stand alongside women, partners and whanau They are wise companions on a universal journey that begins in pregnancy, continues with the birth of a baby and culminates when the woman and her baby are transferred to well child care.

The Midwifery Council is the regulatory authority set up to define and guard professional standards in midwifery. We make sure midwives meet and maintain professional standards of education, conduct and performance so that they deliver high quality healthcare throughout their careers – and if they ever fall short, we hold them to account. We know the safety of mothers and babies comes first.

Professional regulation exists for one purpose - to keep the public safe

Mothers need to know what to expect and get what they expect. They need to be sure professional midwives are doing their job to a consistently high standard.

We see regulation as the ambulance at the top of the cliff, intervening early on to stop small problems becoming big problems. We set standards of education, training, conduct and performance and hold midwives accountable to those standards so that they deliver high quality healthcare throughout their careers. 

2020 has been designated by the WHO as International Year of the Midwife. Throughout the year, there will be a concerted push to promote midwifery in New Zealand, to upskill and inform people about aspects of midwifery; and to push for more education and employment options for the midwifery workforce.

Chief Executive and Registrar of the Midwifery Council, Dr Susan Calvert, says it is an honour to be the CE of the Council at this important strategic time. "The timing of the International Year of the Midwife is significant in Aotearoa. During this year, the Council will not only continue to work closely with the Ministry of Health and the College of Midwives, but is also leading regulatory projects that will shape the future for New Zealand midwives and ultimately the mothers and babies in their care."

What to watch out for in 2020

There will be initiatives throughout the year led by The Midwifery Council, the College of Midwives and the Ministry of Health.

Please watch our websites for further updates and information.

College of Midwives

Ministry of Health

World Health Organization