In New Zealand > Regulation

To register as a midwife in NZ

The Midwifery Council has set the Competencies and the educational requirements for registration as a midwife that must be met. These were developed in collaboration with the New Zealand College of Midwives. New Zealand midwives must successfully complete:

  • an approved midwifery undergraduate education programme

  • meet a minimum theoretical and clinical practice hours requirement

  • facilitate a minimum of 40 births and meet the Competencies for Registration.

Candidates are then put forward for registration by the School of Midwifery and must pass the National Examination set by the Midwifery Council.

Midwives seeking registration in New Zealand from overseas are individually assessed according to the Midwifery Council policy on overseas registration.


To practice as a midwife in New Zealand requires registration with the Midwifery Council of New Zealand. Wholly separate from the College, the Midwifery Council is a statutory body and works within the provisions of the Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Act 2003. This Act governs the regulation of all health professionals in New Zealand.

Regulatory functions of the Midwifery Council

The Midwifery Council has a range of regulatory functions such as approval of undergraduate educational programmes and discipline. The Council is responsible for registering midwives, issuing practising certificates and is responsible for the protection of the health and safety of women and babies during the childbirth process by providing mechanisms to ensure that midwives are competent and fit to practise midwifery.

The role of the Council is distinct from NZCOM, however the two bodies have a relationship which is complementary. NZCOM supports many of the functions of the Council by providing aspects of the Recertification Programme such as Midwifery Standards Review and continuing education for midwives.

NZCOM also produces portfolios for midwives. These provide a structured framework for midwives to maintain documentation about their professional lives. The Council requires that all midwives who hold annual practising certificates maintain a portfolio.