Home Midwives Professional Practice Standards of Practice

Standards of Practice

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The New Zealand College of Midwives’ Philosophy and Code of Ethics are the foundation for midwifery practice.

The following standards provide the benchmark for the midwife’s practice and appropriate usage of midwifery’s body of knowledge. They identify a series of actions that are essential to the development and maintenance of the midwifery partnership with women.

Turanga Kaupapa are a reference and source of support for midwives, wahine and whanau and were developed by Nga Maia in 2006 to enhance Nga Maia kaupapa and to provide cultural guidelines. Turanga Kaupapa are guidelines for cultural competence developed by Nga Maia o Aotearoa and formally adopted by both the Midwifery Council of New Zealand and the New Zealand College of Midwives.

These standards with accompanying criteria provide the framework for Midwifery Practice in New Zealand. These are listed below (excluding the accompanying criteria). The full version is published in the Midwives Handbook for Practice which can be purchased through the College shop.

Standards of Practice

  • Standard one: The midwife works in partnership with the woman

  • Standard two: The midwife upholds each woman’s right to free and informed choice

  • Standard three: The midwife collates and documents comprehensive assessments of the woman and/or baby’s health and wellbeing

  • Standard four: The midwife maintains purposeful, on-going, updated records and makes them available to the woman and other relevant persons

  • Standard five: Midwifery care is planned with the woman

  • Standard six: Midwifery actions are prioritised and implemented appropriately with no midwifery action or omission placing the woman at risk

  • Standard seven: The midwife is accountable to the woman, to herself, to the midwifery profession and to the wider community for her practice

  • Standard eight: The midwife evaluates her practice

  • Standard nine: The midwife negotiates the completion of the midwifery partnership with the woman

  • Standard ten: The midwife develops and shares midwifery knowledge and initiates and promotes research

Turanga Kaupapa, developed by Nga Maia are included as the cultural framework which guides midwives practice


The wahine and her whanau is acknowledged


The wahine and her whanau may use karakia


The wahine and her whanau may involve others in her birthing programme

Te Reo Maori:

The wahine and her whanau may speak Te Reo Maori


The dignity of the wahine, her whanau, the midwife and others involved is maintained

Hau Ora:

The physical, spiritual, emotional and mental wellbeing of the wahine and her whanau is promoted and maintained

Tikanga Whenua:

Maintains the continuous relationship to land, life and nourishment; and the knowledge and support of kaumatua and whanau is available

Te Whare Tangata:

The wahine is acknowledged, protected, nurtured and respected as Te Whare Tangata (the “House of the People”)


The mokopuna is unique, cared for and inherits the future, a healthy environment, wai u and whanau


The midwife is a key person with a clear role and shares with the wahine and her whanau the goal of a safe, healthy, birthing outcome