23 Feb 2012

Plan to encourage more Maori to train as midwives

6:33 am on 23 February 2012

The Maori Midwives Collective Nga Maia plans to change its business model and launch a marketing campaign.

Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia officially opened the organisation's new national premises in Hastings on Tuesday.

National Board member Jean Te Huia says the move from having an office in Christchurch, which was destroyed in last February's earthquake, provides opportunities to significantly boost the number of Maori midwives.

She says where as five years ago there were 270 Maori midwives in New Zealand, now there are only 125 who are registered.

Ms Te Huia says Nga Maia is keen to encourage Maori secondary school pupils to become midwives, as well as mature women who are keen to re-enter the workforce.