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Record Number of Delegates to Attend NZCOM Conference

20 August 2012 Media Release

Record Number of Delegates to Attend Biennial NZCOM Conference

Around 800 midwives, students and women will be in Wellington from August 24th for the 12th New Zealand College of Midwives conference.

The theme of the conference is integration, an important key to the success of our maternity system says NZCOM CEO Karen Guilliland.

“Midwives in New Zealand provide a fully integrated maternity service providing seamless care within and between the community, the home and the hospital,” she says.

Ms Guilliland has just returned from The Hague, where she was invited to speak to some of the world’s leading maternity and human rights experts about the New Zealand system which is held up worldwide as one of the best for women and their babies.

“Many countries aspire to implement a system like the midwifery led maternity service we have in New Zealand. In the UK for example, for many years, women who have wanted to be able to guarantee a one-to-one relationship with their midwife have usually had to pay an independent practitioner, at a cost of up to £4,500. In our country, it’s free to have your own midwife and outcomes are among the best in the world,” she says.

International Key note speaker at the NZCOM conference is Nester Moyo, the senior advisor with the International Confederation of Midwives. Ms Moyo will be discussing how midwives develop strong, supportive and positive relationships - with women, with one another and with others. She says, “midwives can change the way people think and through positive relationships midwives can establish a mandate for midwifery and improve the quality of care so that excellence becomes a habit.”

An understanding of the consumer’s perspective of the maternity services will be provided by a panel of consumer representatives and the Health and Disability Commissioner, Anthony Hill.

Karen Guilliland says the conference will discuss the various attributes which contribute to a seamless maternity service – one which provides transparency, engagement and cultural safety that meets women’s and families needs and which focuses on what helps families in their transition to becoming parents.

“Relationships are the necessary foundation of any effective, professional maternity service and are based on collegiality, good communication and support,” she says.

The conference programme will provide a broad choice of plenary and concurrent sessions which include panel discussion and debates. Midwives will explore and discuss the realities of practice, clinical issues and the latest evidence and research.

The 12th New Zealand College of Midwives conference at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington 24 – 26 August 2012.,274,0,0,html/NZCOM-2012-National-Conference

Additional: The New Zealand College of Midwives

The New Zealand College of Midwives (the NZCOM) is the professional organisation and recognised voice for midwives and student midwives in New Zealand. (see

The NZCOM represents more than 3100 members and works in partnership with maternity consumer groups such as Plunket, Parents Centre New Zealand, the Home Birth Association, La Leche League and individual women to ensure high quality maternity services in New Zealand.

The NZCOM sets and actively promotes high standards for midwifery practice and assists midwives to meet these standards through involvement in midwifery education and the Midwifery Standards Review process.

The NZCOM, in consultation with its' membership, has developed the Philosophy, Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice and Consensus Statements that guide the professional activities of midwifery practitioners. The NZCOM also provides Resolution Committees for consumers who have a complaint about their midwife's practice.

The NZCOM represents midwifery and women’s health interests to government, health organisations, consumer groups and the general public. The NZCOM also represents New Zealand on the International Confederation of Midwives and is currently the representative for the midwife association members in the Asia Pacific Region.

The New Zealand College of Midwives is the only professional membership body specifically for NZ registered midwives. The regulatory body is the Midwifery Council and is responsible for the protection of the health and safety of women and babies during the childbirth process by providing mechanisms to ensure that midwives are competent and fit to practise midwifery. The HPCAA (The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act) provides this regulatory framework.

The NZCOM promotes midwifery standards of practice and ongoing education courses for Midwives once they are registered. It represents and advocates for midwifery and women’s health interests to government, health organisations, consumer groups and the general public.

Live births down in the March 2012 year

There were 60,860 live births registered in New Zealand in the year ended March 2012, down 2,323 from the March 2011 year. This is the lowest number of births since 2007, when 60,471 births were registered.

In part, annual fluctuations in births, reflect changes in the size and age of the population, the age at which women have children, and the number of children they have. In turn, the number of births influences the future size and age of the population.

The highest number of births ever recorded in any March year was 65,803, in 1962. At that time, New Zealand's population was just 2.5 million, compared with 4.4 million in 2012.


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