As part of delivering on the Health Workforce Plan 2023/24, Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora is providing enhanced funding to support former midwives returning to midwifery practice with the associated costs of doing so.

“We know there are around 600 midwives in Aotearoa who are no longer practicing, and we want to ensure those who want to return can do so without the financial burden that comes with a Return to Practice programme,” said Deb Pittam, Interim National Chief Midwife, Health NZ.

“The introduction of this enhanced programme including higher funding means we can lend more of a helping hand with the costs associated with returning to practice, which can be a significant financial barrier for many people.”

Returning midwives can now receive between $1,260 and $7,050 towards their Return to Practice costs. Those costs can include course fees, fees to renew their practicing certificate, a Midwifery Standards review etc. About $100,000 in total is available from the fund.

The level of funding available and the recertification requirements will vary, based on the applicant’s length of time away from practice and whether they are NZ or overseas based. To be eligible to apply for the funding an applicant is required to have spent three years or more away from practice. 

“We recognise the critical role our midwives have in caring for the health needs of our whānau and communities, and this increased funding is one step we’re taking to grow and strengthen our midwifery workforce.

“I’m hopeful the funding will make returning to practice a reality for as many midwives as possible, and I welcome the promising opportunity it presents. We are especially keen to see more rural, Māori and Pacific midwives return to the workforce, as these are areas of identified need.”

Midwives returning to practice who have not held a practising certificate in New Zealand for three years or more are required to complete the Return to Practice or the Return to New Zealand Practice programmes.   

The Midwifery Council of New Zealand sets the recertification requirements for Midwives in accordance with the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. 

To find out more about the funding and how to apply visit the Health NZ website.


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