General information for Internationally qualified midwives

If you have qualified as a midwife in any country other than New Zealand, this information provides an overview of the criteria for registration as a midwife. Information about the application process may be found in the Internationally qualified midwives' application guidelines.

Before you can be registered, you must satisfy the Council in three broad areas:

  • Registration Outside of New Zealand  The Midwifery Council of New Zealand will only consider applications from internationally qualified midwives who are or were registered with a registration authority that performs a similar function to the Council and in the same country in which they completed their midwifery education.
  • Qualifications and Competence  Your midwifery qualification, post registration midwifery practice (must be a minimum of two years post registration midwifery practice across the scope, within the immediate 5 years preceding application), post registration midwifery education, midwifery competence in the way of completing a self assessment against the New Zealand Competencies for Entry to the Register, when considered as a whole, must be deemed by the Council to be equivalent in content and competencies to the most recent New Zealand requirements for registration (these requirements are more fully described under 3.1.2. Assessment of your post Registration practice and continuing education).
  • Fitness for Registration  You must be of good character.  You must not have any mental or physical condition that adversely affects your ability to practise as a midwife.  You must be able to communicate effectively and in written and spoken English.

The Council does not currently operate any reciprocal registration agreements except with Australia pursuant to a government to government agreement covering all services and professions.

The Council does not accept applications from internationally qualified new graduate midwives, or from midwives whose skills are not current.  All applicants must show at least two years midwifery practice experience in the five years preceding the application.

There is no connection between midwives and nurses in New Zealand.  Any nursing qualification or nursing practise experience will not assist an application.

The following documents are required from all applicants:

  • Evidence of your identity, certified as true copies
  • Evidence of current or past registration
  • Certificate of Good Standing from current registration authority
  • Full transcript of pre-registration midwifery education programme
  • Portfolio or detailed curriculum vitae
  • Police report from each country in which you have resided for 12 months or more
  • Medical certificate
  • Two character references
  • Self Assessment against the Competencies for Entry to the Register.

The following documents are required if relevant:

  • Details of convictions
  • Details of any mental or physical condition or disability
  • Your English language test result if English is not your first spoken language

An online application form and either originals or certified copies of all documents are required. 

Right to Be Registered and Timing

Internationally Qualified Midwives do not have an automatic right of registration in New Zealand.  All applications are considered by the Council on an individual basis against the competencies required for registration and practice in New Zealand.

Once we receive ALL information, it may take up to one month before your application can be determined and you are advised of the Council decision.

You may wish to explore work opportunities in New Zealand while your application is in progress. However the Council strongly advises that you do not enter into any employment arrangement or make any immigration arrangements based on a presumption that your application will be successful, or a presumption as to when a decision on your application will be received.  A job offer or immigration deadline will not contribute to your application and will not be accepted as grounds for urgent processing.

Immigration Requirements

The Midwifery Council is not qualified to give advice on immigration matters.  For more information refer to 

Certification of Documents — General Note

Where certification is required a document can ONLY be certified as a true copy by one of the following:

  • A Solicitor
  • A Justice of the Peace, or
  • A Notary Public

Certification by any other person will not be accepted.  As this requirement causes problems and delays for some applicants, the Council makes it clear that it does NOT accept certification from ministers of religion, members of parliament, any type of court officer including registrars and deputy registrars, postmasters, school principals, police officers, accountants, and anyone else who is not a solicitor, a Notary Public or a Justice of the Peace.

The certifier must confirm that the copy is a true copy of the original, must sign, and must clearly print their name, the capacity under which they are signing, and their contact details.

A certified translation must be done by a qualified translator.

Starting work in New Zealand

The Council encourages newly registered internationally qualified midwives to initially take a position as an employed midwife as part of their introduction to midwifery in New Zealand.  However, if such midwives choose to practise immediately as a community-based midwife, they may not work alone but must practise in association, or in partnership, with other midwives.  The partner midwives must be available to provide collegial support and guidance and must be willing and able to provide professional back-up and help with the New Zealand maternity system and prescribing as required.  They do not need to act in a supervisory role.

Internationally qualified midwives and midwives applying under TTMRA

Any midwife who obtained their midwifery qualification outside of New Zealand, including Australian registered midwives applying under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement are likely to have conditions imposed on their scope of practice (usually regarding required further education relating to midwifery practise in New Zealand).  In these cases midwives will be issued with an annual practising certificate for a defined period, during which time the conditions must be met.