Mō mātou | About Us

Te Tatau o te Whare Kahu | Midwifery Council (the Council) is the responsible authority established under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (the HPCAA). Its role is to regulate midwives which means that it must ensure that midwives meet and maintain high standards 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 pēpi 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 HPCAA.

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 Māori
  • 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 Māori 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 Māori ‘Te Tatau’ refers to the gateway to a marae. During a pōwhiri, 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.

Performance Review

Responsible Authorities (RA), such as the Council, are required to undertake periodic performance reviews as mandated under section 122A of the HPCAA. They involve an independent, systematic, objective, and documented review of an RA’s performance and the extent to which it meets the prescribed performance standards for evaluative and formative purposes. For more information please see the general terms of reference for performance reviews of RA's HERE.

Performance reviews are conducted under the Ministry’s HSII-QAS-HealthCERT framework. Reviewers are appointed by the Manatū Hauora | Ministry of Health based on their expertise and experience in conducting reviews, knowledge and awareness of the regulation of health practitioners in Aotearoa, cost-effectiveness, and capacity to manage the work required. The Ministry of Health appointed BSI who completed the performance review of the Council in 2021. The Council is pleased to report all the core performance standards have been achieved. We invite you to read a copy of the report HERE.

Relevant Documents

The Role of Te Tatau o te Whare Kahu | Midwifery Council