Whaia te Aronga a Hine a Ngā Kaiwhakawhānau Māori

by J. Te Huia


This report is a culmination of Ngā Maia Māori midwives’ undertakings to bring the
‘voices’ of Māori midwives to the fore, to acknowledge their ‘mana’ and ‘authority’ to identify
the rightful place of mātauranga Māori birthing and to shape the evidence to inform Māori
workforce development priorities, with a focus on hapu Māori māmā, their pēpi and whānau. These testimonies presented are based on Māori midwives’ discussion’s, survey responses, personal interviews, and Māori midwives’ focus group hui. The data represents the values and priorities identified by Māori Midwives themselves, who articulate their professional development needs, in order to raise the profile of indigenous health, so we may understand the need and direction required to build upon a culturally appropriate professional Māori midwifery health workforce, retain its quality and continually review its input. This project is an important platform for situating Māori midwives as te Tiriti partners, in the midwifery landscape of Aotearoa and facilitates amplification of the experiences of Māori midwives and hapu Māori māmā, their pēpi and whānau who are served by the profession.

There is a lack of research evidence, checks or balances that explains the work
experiences of Māori midwives. In addition, there is little research or explanation to describe the disparities that exist within midwifery for Māori māmā, their pēpi and whānau, as they continue to experience persistent racism and inequities that impact on them, throughout their midwifery continuum. (Tupara & Tahere, 2020).

The terms of reference for this project, were wide and challenging and required the
research team to confront many of the inequities, the maternity system continues to
perpetuate on Māori whānau. The reality of this situation bought home in stark contrast,
midwifery care imposed on Māori, that most of society believe is the best in the world. Through their ‘voices and experiences’ Māori midwives delivered their pūrakau – stories, shared theirdespairs and explained their frustrations whilst offering their advice. I am forever grateful and wholeheartedly thank them for their courage to share their world.

Publication Information

CITATIONTe Huia, J. (2020). Whaia te Aronga a Ngā Kaiwhakawhānau Māori: The Māori Midwifery Workforce in Aotearoa. Te Rau Ora.