Midwifery in New Zealand regained its status as an autonomous profession in 1990 (Nurses Amendment Act). It has its own Scope of Practice, Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and Competencies, with the knowledge, skills and abilities to provide complete primary maternity care on its own responsibility.
Midwives work collaboratively with other health professionals, when necessary, to meet any additional medical, health or social needs of mothers and their babies.
Midwives work in different ways but they all contribute to the safe and effective maternity services in New Zealand. They may be:
- self-employed Lead Maternity Carers (LMCs), providing continuity of care to women through pregnancy, labour and birth and postnatally until 6 weeks after birth
- employed by DHBs to provide 24-hour, rostered shift cover in a maternity facility
- employed by District Health Boards (DHBs) or other organisations to provide continuity of care