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Role of the New Zealand College of Midwives
The New Zealand College of Midwives (the College) is the professional organisation for midwives, representing nearly 90% of practising midwives in New Zealand. Membership is voluntary and the College’s midwife membership comprises both employed and self-employed midwives.
The College sets professional standards, provides continuing education for registered midwives and conducts the Midwifery Standards Review process for all practising midwives in New Zealand. It offers professional information, education and advice to women, midwives, District Health Boards, workforce unions, schools of midwifery and the Ministry of Health regarding midwifery and maternity issues. It provides the Midwifery First Year of Practice Program for new graduates under contract to the Ministry of Health.
In order to maintain its woman-centred focus, the College works in partnership with women by encouraging consumer membership and involvement in the development and maintenance of the midwifery profession. It makes places on all of its national and regional decision making committees for consumer membership and input. Current consumer groups who are members of the College’s National Committee are Plunket, Parents Centre, Home Birth Aotearoa and Le Leche League. The College also works in partnership with Maori and Pacific membership, who have representation on the College’s National Executive.
The College is made up of 10 regional committees all autonomous but working in harmony with the College’s overall objective to maintain maternity service quality and midwifery practice standards and support midwives to provide woman-centred care. Regional committees are all volunteers.