This years NZCOM conference was held in Rotorua. The theme was One Voice. It was a passionate, valuable conference which focused on midwifery as it stands in Aotearoa today and how we can work together to keep our hard fought birth rights. It started off with a warm welcome by Rotorua girls’ and Boys’ High School Kapa Haka group Raukura, who recently won the National Secondary Schools Kapa Haka competition. The performance was excellent.
One of the key highlights was the talk by Hannah Dahlen Women and midwives: Diferent generations/diferent voices? – some slides from her inspiring talk have been included. Another highlight was the panel discussion: Meeting challenges in midwifery featuring Lisa Harris, Beatrice Leatham, Tish Taihia, Nicky Helleur, and Heather LaDell. This panel called on individuals working in differing midwifery roles and places to explore the similar, but different challenges that they face when supporting quality midwifery care.
The individual sessions had a great range of valuable topics including Intersectionality and midwifery in Aotearoa New Zealand with Pauline Dawson &Talia Marshall, Health equity, Māori inequities…. What do we know and what can we do? with Sonia Hawkins & Donna Cormack, and Sustainable rural midwifery in New Zealand / Aotearoa withMary Kensington, Rea Daellenbach, Lorna Davies, and Andrea Gilkison. There were many many more sessions covering a broad range of midwifery challenges as well.
The panel discussion “What does disparity mean in maternity care for Māori?” resonated. This panel explored the health disparities of Māori and identifed the work that is being done to challenge these inequities. Presented by Aria Graham, and Jean Te Huia
“Women’s value in society, the work of mothers and midwives are all intrinsically linked. gender equality is an issue which affects all women in society and requires ‘consciously taken action to end this unfairness1’. our theme one Voice – Women and midwives acknowledges that midwives and women need to stand together knowing that they are stronger when united in their pursuit of gender equality.”
Conference Theme World Economic Forum. The Global Gender Gap Report 2017. Geneva: World Economic Forum; 2017.