Cultural Competence

Under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act, the Midwifery Council has the responsibility to set standards of cultural competence for the midwifery profession. The Council, from 2004 until 2007, continued to use the Nursing Council Guidelines for Cultural Safety developed by the late Irihapeti Ramsden.  It then adopted the Turanga Kaupapa developed by Nga Maia Midwives Aotearoa to give clear guidelines on Tangata Whenua values and provide cultural guidelines for midwifery practice to ensure that basic cultural requirements are met for Māori women during pregnancy and childbirth.

The Council began the process of adopting a Maori name began during in 2004 but it was decided, with the guidance of its two Māori members, not to make any decision about a Māori name in haste. 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 2007, the Midwifery Council integrated Turanga Kaupapa into the Competencies for Entry to the Register of Midwives so that they are part of the basic competence requirements of all practising midwives. The Midwifery Council also integrated Turanga Kaupapa into its Standards for Pre-registration Midwifery Education so that all midwifery students understand Turanga Kaupapa as part of their broader learning of Midwifery Partnership and Cultural Safety as frameworks for midwifery practice.

In late 2009, the Council completed its initial draft Statement on Cultural Competence.  This then went through a consultation and further refinement stage over the next year, with the final Statement being approved in October 2011.

In September/October 2009, the Council added the requirement that all internationally qualified midwives must complete a course in cultural competence to the Overseas Competence Programme. Attendance at a Treaty of Waitangi workshop has been a requirement since 2004.