Midwife Tapuhi ā-Whare

Midwives provide care and support to women, their partners and family/whānau during pregnancy, labour and birth, and for six weeks following the birth.

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Midwives need to be registered with the Midwifery Council of New Zealand and have a current annual practising certificate.

Midwives may do some or all of the following:

  • support women through the normal physiological processes of pregnancy and childbirth
  • support women to maintain good physical, emotional and mental wellbeing throughout pregnancy 
  • discuss and organise ultrasound, blood and other screening tests during pregnancy
  • refer to other health practitioners during the pregnancy, labour, birth and post-birth period
  • care for women during labour, birth and the post-birth period, including prescribing medications
  • examine the newborn baby
  • provide information and support for parents on how to care for and feed their newborn baby.

Physical Requirements

Midwives need to be reasonably fit and healthy, and must have a good level of stamina, as some births may take a long time.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for midwives includes:

  • being a parent
  • teaching
  • counselling
  • nursing
  • other health-related work.

Personal Qualities

Midwives need to be:

  • good at managing their time
  • skilled in communicating with people
  • patient and caring
  • able to work well under pressure
  • mature and responsible
  • able to remain calm during emergencies
  • observant and analytical
  • good at making decisions.


Midwives need to have knowledge of:

  • anatomy and physiology of the body, particularly related to pregnancy, birth and the post-birth period
  • different cultural beliefs and traditions about pregnancy and childbirth
  • development of babies during pregnancy and after birth
  • supporting mothers with breastfeeding
  • monitoring mothers and babies in pregnancy, labour and birth, including using ultrasound equipment and heart rate monitors.



  • do shift work, and may be on call for extended periods
  • may work in maternity hospitals or birthing units, or in the community
  • sometimes work in stressful conditions, as labour can be unpredictable. 

Midwifes can earn around $65K-$84K per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Midwife are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Pay for midwives employed by district health boards (DHBs) varies depending on their length of service, seniority, and their shift rosters.

  • New midwives usually start on $65,000 a year.
  • Midwives with up to five years' experience usually earn $69,000 to $84,000.
  • Senior midwives with more experience and responsibility can earn between $87,000 and $138,000.
  • Self-employed midwives usually earn $80,000 or more.

Sources: New Zealand College of Midwives, 2021; and Midwifery Employee Representation and Advisory Services and District Health Boards, 'Multi-Employer Collective Agreement 1 February 2021 – 30 April 2023’, 2021.

Midwives may move into management, advisory, training or education roles in midwifery practice.

Years Of Training

3-4 years of training required.

To become a midwife you need to complete a Bachelor of Midwifery or a Bachelor of Health Science (Midwifery).

You also need to be registered with the Midwifery Council of New Zealand.

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children.