About us

The Midwifery Council is the responsible authority established under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act. Its role is to regulate midwives which means that it must ensure that midwives meet and maintain high standard of education, conduct and performance so that they can provide high quality culturally safe healthcare throughout their careers.

The Council's mission is to protect the health and safety of women and babies experiencing midwifery care in Aotearoa, New Zealand, through an effective and efficient midwifery regulatory framework.

What we do

The functions of the Council are prescribed in the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (2003).
Our main role is to:
  • Set qualifications needed to be come a midwife and to accredit pre-registration programmes of education
  • Set standards for clinical competence, cultural competence and conduct of midwives which includes competencies that will enable effective interaction with Maori
  • Register midwives
  • Recertify midwives every year
  • Review and ensure the competence and fitness of midwives

Te Tatau o te Whare Kahu

The Council began the process of adopting a Maori name during 2004 but it was not until September 2006 that the consultative process was concluded with the adoption of the metaphorical name Te Tatau o te Whare Kahu. 

In Maori ‘Te Tatau’ refers to the gateway to a marae. During a powhiri, certain protocols and rituals take place and it is only on completion of these, that newcomers are able to pass through the gateway onto the marae. This symbolizes the Council's responsibility for registration of midwives, providing permission for them to practise.
Kahu refers to ‘the membrane enveloping the unborn baby’. Whare kahu emphasises the protective nature of Council’s role to protect the public by ensuring midwives are competent to practise.

Whare kahu also refers to a place for lying-in for high-born women. This application elevates the significance of childbirth for society including women, their whānau and children and midwives.

Iris Pahau appointed Tikanga Mentor

The Council is delighted to announce the appointment of Whaea Iris Pahau as Tikanga Mentor to Te Tatau o te Whare Kahu the Midwifery Council. Iris is the Director of AWE Consultants Limited and, along with her late husband, Wereta Wairakau Pahau, developed a Te Tiriti Relationship Governance Framework and Te Wairua o Te Tiriti Model.
Both these practices advocate for organisations to work within the spirit of Te Tiriti o Waitangi where our tupuna/ancestors, both Tangata Whenua and Tangata Tiriti sought to establish a true partnership where dreams and aspirations of all New Zealanders can become a reality without prejudice or discrimination.

Ka titiro ake au ki Te Taitokerau me ngā Iwi o Te Aupōuri, Te Rarawa me Ngāti Kurī, me ōna awa, me maunga kōrero
Ka huri ake au ki Mōtītī te Motu o Ngāti Awa, ka tangi ake, ki a rātou
Ka huri ake au anō ki Taranaki maunga, ka mīharo ake
Ka tōmuri ake te titiro ki te Wanui-a-rua ki Taumarunui e noho ana au ināianei
Ko Iris Pahau ahau
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa.

Relevant documents

Role of the Midwifery Council