Māori midwives returning to the workforce is a key focus of the Midwifery Return to Practice initiative announced today.

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.  About $100,000 in total is available from the fund.

Te Aka Whai Ora and Health New Zealand worked closely with the Midwifery Council and other key partners as part of a response to the Health Workforce Plan to address current pressures and reduce the gap in the midwifery workforce.

Te Aka Whai Ora former Chief Clinical Officer Midwifery Heather Muriwai says the funding will help those who want to return to midwifery to do so without facing financial burden.

“Midwives play a critical role in caring for the health needs of hapū māmā, whānau and communities.  There is a need for more Māori, Pacific and rural midwives so this funding will encourage and then support them, should they wish to return to the workforce,” says Heather. 

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. 

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.