Regional Team

The Canterbury West Coast region’s Joan Donley team

Our team is passionate about our region and supporting our members.

Our regional chair is our representative and voice on a national level. We are always open to questions or suggestions of how we can communicate with and support our members.

Office bearers are voted in at the Annual General Meeting held in August.

If you are interested in a leadership role in the region please email us!

Davina 1

Davina Geddes

Regional Chair

Kia Ora,

Ko Te Upoko o Tahumatā te maunga
Ko Ōkana te awa
Ko Uriao te waka
Ko Ngāti Irakehu, ko Ngāti Makō ngā hapu
Ko Waitaha, ko Ngāti Māmoe, ko Ngāi Tahu ngā iwi
Ko Davina Geddes tōku ingoa

I am currently a Registered Midwife working in both the Birthing Suite and Maternity Ward at Christchurch Women’s Hospital. I have been working in the Maternity Sector for 14 years first as a Childbirth and Parenting Educator and then as an LMC Community midwife. I have held roles in governance and advisory committees and been an active member of Māori Midwifery Roopu. Currently I am a representative on the Ara Midwifery Professional Advisory Committee and was elected as the Chair of the Canterbury/West Coast Region of NZCOM in August 2019.

My role as the regional chair is to oversee the work our organisation undertakes in support of members of our community. We are strongly guided by our regional strategic plan, and we have a number of very effective sub-committees that ensure the smooth functioning of regional activities.

We are proud to provide a wide range of support for our members, including educational opportunities, regional meetings, wellness support, research recommendations, and publicity for midwifery.

I represent the region on the NZCOM National Committee, which is our governance body. My role is also to ensure that we meet all obligations for reporting, financial planning, and record keeping, as well as providing ongoing strategic leadership for our members.

If you are interested in a leadership role in the region or just want to become more involved don’t hesitate to contact me.

To view the latest AGM report for my role click on the link below:

Chair report 2019

This role is currently vacant

The role as secretary is to manage communications for the region, send out the meeting agenda’s, type the regional monthly meetings, collate member attendance, organize the members annual certificates and other tasks delegated to me from the regional chair.


Bex secretary profile picture for website

Bex Tidball

Vice Regional Chair

Kia ora, I am Bex Tidball and I am a community based midwife based in north Canterbury.

I have been a member of the New Zealand College of Midwives for 7 years – first as a consumer, then as a midwifery student, and finally as a registered midwife. I was elected to the office bearer position of Vice Chair for the region in August 2019 which I am enjoying very much.

As Vice-chair I support the Regional Chair in her responsibilities to the region and act as proxy if she is unable to attend meetings.

Melanie Welfare Profile pic

Melanie Welfare


Kia Ora,

I have held the position of Treasurer for the region for a number of years. This is a role that I enjoy as it keeps me engaged with the region and the profession as a whole. I have a strong midwifery philosophy and currently work as a full-time academic staff member at Ara Institute of Canterbury. I maintain my APC by providing locum midwifery for cover for a number of midwives and doing the occasional shifts in the maternity units of the region. I am also a mentor for both MFYP and rural midwives and a Midwifery Council preceptor.

The treasurers’ role for the Canterbury and West Coast Region of the New Zealand College of Midwives includes financial planning, budgeting, paying taxes, honorarium, and reimbursing members for study days and expenses as well as preparing the books for annual review by the accountant. The treasurer also collaborates with other position holders for the region including the Chair and Vice-Chair, secretary as well as many of the other smaller committees Wellness, Publicity etc.

Ngā Mihi


Helen Fraser profile pic

Helen Fraser

LMC Liaison


My name is Helen Fraser and I am LMC Liaison for the Canterbury West Coast region.  I have been attending regional meetings since 2007. I am a mentor on the Midwifery First Year of Practice programme and coordinator for the Midwifery Resource centre. I am also a case loading midwife of 9 years working in the Christchurch area. I am also the regional representative on the Immunisation Service Level Alliance.

As liaison I attend many meetings at the DHB covering all areas of the service.

I am passionate about good communication and this is one area I am hoping to improve between the DHB and LMC midwives.

Please feel free to ring, text or email me if you have any issues, good or bad, that you want discuss. I am always happy to meet for a coffee!

To view the latest AGM reports for my roles click on the links below:

ISLA report AGM 2019

LMC Liaison AGM report 2019

gwen profile

Gwen Glazzard

Website Administrator


I am a home birth midwife working in the Christchurch area.

I have been very excited to be involved in the project to launch our regional website with the aim to act as a hub for our members.

The vision of our website is to enable communication, provide support, education and to promote and celebrate midwifery in our region.

If you have any news to share with the region or you have something you would like to add to the website please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Nicci Fahey

Student Representative


My name is Nicci Fahey and I’m a second year midwifery student at Ara, based in Christchurch.  I’m excited to be part of the regional team and to represent the student voice as the student representative for the Canterbury West Coast region for 2019-2020.

My role is to represent the voice of students within the region at the regions monthly meetings.  It would be great to hear from you with any thoughts, feedback or suggestions you would like me to put forward or share at these monthly meetings.  I also prepare and supply the delicious snacks each month.

I can be contacted via the above email address or come and say hi at the next meeting.


Catherine Rietveld

NZCOM Breastfeeding Representative

Kia ora katou, I am your NZCOM Breastfeeding Representative. I registered as a Comprehensive Nurse in 1977 and as a midwife in 1980, I completed my Master in Midwifery in December 2011. I find it unbelievable that I have been working as a midwife and maternal and child health practitioner for 41 years. It has been my lifelong ambition to remain in a clinician’s role providing women and children and their whānau with the very best of midwifery and nursing care.

I am a part time Lead Maternity Carer / Locum midwife working a small rural/urban caseload. I enjoy supporting the midwives in our practice of 10 as their practice coordinator. I have spent most of my working life in Maternal and Child Health in both hospital and community settings. I spent 8 years as a Well Child Nurse with the NZ Plunket Society prior to retuning to midwifery which is my passion in 2003. I am involved with mentoring and preceptoring student and graduate midwives.

I volunteer at the Rotary Community Breastmilk Bank and the Canterbury branch of NZ APEC. I also enjoy midwifery standards reviewing and have engaged in some midwifery supervisory work with the midwifery council. I am a member of the Canterbury Infant and Young Child Feeding Network and the Canterbury Breastfeeding Steering Group.

I began work on my Masters in earnest in 2006 and decided to focus on Antenatal Colostrum Harvesting as a strategy to support breastfeeding for women with Diabetes in pregnancy. I completed my thesis in 2011 and have enjoyed presenting my work at Breastfeeding Study Days, Conferences, Diabetes Study Days, and the Canterbury Breastfeeding Hui. My new interest is in “Mother Seeding” or supporting the development of a healthy microbiome in babies born by elective Caesarean section.

In my spare time I am a mother of 4 grown up children, Oma to 7 beautiful grandchildren with one more on the way. My husband and I farm alpacas on our 11-acre lifestyle block and transform their fibre into exquisite baby clothes. I am a vocal musician and conduct a full choir.

I look forward to supporting the Canterbury-West Coast region of NZCOM in my role as your breastfeeding representative and plan to support you all by implementing new ideas to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in the Canterbury-West Coast region.

March 2021