International Year of the Midwife – Parliamentary Breakfast


Tēnā koutou katoa,

Today the Board of the NZ College of Midwives kicked off celebrations for the International Year of the Midwife by hosting a parliamentary breakfast in The Great Hall at parliament.  This was well attended by representatives of numerous groups that work in the maternity sector as well as a handful of MPs.  Originally the intent had been there to present the #backmidwives petition to the hosting MP Julie Anne Genter.  However, following much thought and consultation it was decided that it was best to keep the parliamentary breakfast as a celebration of midwifery and to present the petition later in the month.  This certainly appears to have been an excellent decision as at the breakfast there were some key networking moments that now place the college in a better position for presenting the petition.

From a personal perspective I have to say that the speeches and video presentations at the breakfast saw me teary-eyed and ever so proud to be a midwife.  Midwifery really is an incredibly unique and privileged profession that does so much more than just “catch babies”.  It would seem that the message really is beginning to take hold in society and at a political level that midwives are an integral part of the health system and as such needing to be valued financially and structurally.  In parallel to today’s celebrations was the release of the NZ Institute of Economic Research Report that states that there needs to be a $51.9 million dollar injection in order to retain at least the status quo of maternity care in NZ.  Our CE Alison Eddy appeared in an interview on Breakfast this morning outlining some of the outcomes of this report.  The interview can be viewed here

To continue on our celebration of International Year of the Midwife there is International Women’s Day, IDM celebrations, the College participation at Field days, the ICM Bali Congress, Breastfeeding week and the College conference in October.  As a region we have the opportunity to engage in the above activities, perhaps create some of our own, and also engage in the social media activities that are planned.

The College will set up a dedicated web page to host this activity. The Ministry of Health have also set up a web page. Every month/two months the College will circulate on social media:

1 x midwifery fact

1 x midwife celebration tile/video

1 x acknowledgement of a significant contributor to international midwifery

1 x video clip from woman

1 x statement or video from a high profile figure

The platforms these will be circulated on are: facebook/Instagram/Twitter and they will be held on the MOH and College web pages.  Please use the #Midwives2020 if you are using twitter for any IYM promotions.

We will also have a Facebook frame that members can use on their profile pictures.


In order for the College to develop the content for this social media activity they need you to do two things.

  1. Send nominations for midwives who can be profiled in the social media activity. The suggested criteria for nominees is attached.  It would be great to be able to profile midwives from a range of settings and roles. The more nominations we receive, the more midwives we can profile. As well as the basic information about the nominee, all we need is 30 to 50 words about the midwife or, alternatively a 20 second video.
  2. Let the College know if you or any midwives in your regions have any connections to high profile New Zealanders who we can approach to make a statement about the importance of midwives (again see attached template for how this information will be presented). The Ministry of Health will be coordinating requests from politicians for these quotes.

Davina Geddes


NZ College Of Midwives

Canterbury West-Coast Region

Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi

With your basket and my basket the people will thrive