Testimonials – 2015 A father’s VBAC story’

A father’s story:

I just have to express how grateful we are that my wife B was able to have Lilly exactly the way that she wanted to.
It is something special in her heart that will stay with her forever.
Paul we thank you for everything.
For the birth of our first child B had a plan. A drug free birth with as little medical intervention as possible.. That plan was soon thrown out the window and we met our boy N unexpectedly 10 days early after B required a C – Section due to placenta praevia.
It was a great outcome, after all we had an amazing son.
As a father I was happy, but B was disappointed not to have the birth she had hoped for so much.
All of this changed with the birth of our beautiful baby girl Lilly.
Once again Beck had a plan, and was determined to see it happen.
After having an interview with the hospital case loading midwives she was sadly told there was no room for her in their program. At a time when a mother needs the feeling of control and comfort that she is supported and empowered, we were still unsure whether we were able to have our baby in our home town.
After jumping through all the required hoops (being a high risk mother) B was able to attempt to birth in our local hospital.
She met Paul Golden on contract and it was decided that he would be her midwife.
Paul quickly understood the things that were important to B with the care and compassion of a trusted friend.
With each appointment I could see B’s confidence grow in our ability to achieve her desired result.
She knew Paul was there for her, whenever she needed him, for anything at all and I knew he was there to give me purpose and guide me to help in taking the best care of my wife.
At 6.42 am on Monday, after about four hours of intense labour Lilly Kate was born.
A drug-free, intervention-free, almost flawless birth – exactly what B had wanted.
No regrets for her and happy dad (me) with healthy mum and bub.
We, as a family, couldn’t be more thankful with the guidance Paul has given us and feel very lucky to have “worked” with him.


2016 Midwife Available in Australasia, Asia & Pacific Region

Welcome ‘Kia Ora’

How birth can be ..
How birth can be ..

I am available for locum LMC midwifery relief and as a Travelling Midwife to other countries around the Asia Pacific region e.g. Singapore et al.

My background is as a Midwife over 25 years and a paediatric neonatal nurse. I have experience in high and low risk including water births and remote rural midwifery. I continue to update my intensive care skills regularly and have recently completed PROMPT, CTG, RESUS, Midwifery Technical Skills workshops and many others.

I have a strong focus on maternal mental health and integrated whole family health.

Natural Therapies – I have trained and worked with a variety of natural therapies and taught Shiatsu and Acupuncture and various gentle physical listening bodywork techniques from osteopathy, orthobionomy to contact care. I now tend to blend and tailor therapies to the individual, (these include listening then releasing physical and emotional trauma).

For Women I offer: Total pregnancy care with additional

  • Counselling
  • Active Birth Preparation (including hypnobirthing, priming you, your partner and your baby for birth with positive deep relaxation)
  • Breastfeeding support & Settling newborn babies
  • Assisting recovery from traumatic births.
  • Involving partners and show how they can support women throughout pregnancy birthing and the post natal period.
  • Expert Witness Reports

For Midwives  I offer:

  • Locum relief.  I can give you a break by taking over your case-load
  • Professional Support – including Professional Supervision
  • Statement Writing
  • Expert Witness Reports
  • Employment and Regulatory Law – Advice Advocacy and Mediation
  • Educational training workshops on legal aspects of midwifery

I am a Mediator and Educator with postgraduate certificates in Teaching and Mediation. These skills are used for conflict resolution for both midwives and consumers.



  • activebirth@hotmail.com (midwifery and birth)
  • mandalamediation@gmail.com (for legal enquiries)

See http://www.mandalalaw.com (more information, templates and pdf documents)





How midwives (and nurses) can survive and thrive in the midwifery blame-game.

“Conflict is opportunity”

(Carl Rogers).

This article will focus on the problems facing midwives. It will show how we can protect ourselves in a culture of blame.

I have been practising midwifery and providing legal support to midwives since 1990. I see the cost and heartache from many unnecessary cases. This contrasts with the sense of empowerment when a midwife finds effective support. Some cases lead to suspension, dismissal or other sanctions imposed on a midwife. Many midwives simply choose to walk away. This article will show how we can support ourselves and others more effectively by using legal knowledge combined with the courage to act.

We all know of cases against colleagues or ourselves. Some were unjustified, others showing the imbalance and abuse of power by others (usually Employers, and Regulators which is the NMC or LSAMOs). For example; where a minor error or safety concern is magnified, false allegations may be made, or, being treated less favourably (due to some form of discrimination), or, when a whistle-blower is sanctioned, or a midwife scapegoated for system failures et cetera.

We are all interrelated in our lives (Rogers). Our professional relationships are with consumers, communities, other healthcare professionals whom all interrelate with us. This quality of midwives ‘being with women’ brings not only compassion but also strength as we work together acknowledging the inherent power in our interrelatedness. We need to stand up for ourselves and each other to enable a stronger professional group in midwifery.

We already know that we achieve more support by meeting together and sharing ideas, counselling each other, by listening and reflecting on ideas that we have, providing research and narrative evidence, (this is effectively formalising the coffee room conversation). Our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) also helps provide a robust defence by demonstrating how we are reasonable and competent practitioners. Engaging in Professional Supervision will also show how we are proactive participants reflecting on, and developing our professional skills. But what else can we do and how can we be proactive?

Key Areas of Risk for Midwives

1. Employment problems

Bullying in professional relationships

Investigations, suspension, dismissal etc.

2. Registration problems

(disciplinary investigations, suspension, sanctions)

3. Consumer Complaints

4. Clinical negligence claims

5. Threat to loss of personal and professional reputation


Listen and given the other party a sense of being actively listened by verifying what you understand. Then show how you will put this into some form of action. Acknowledging their position may be enough. Offering an apology, if appropriate, can de-escalate a conflict.

This recognises the other parties’ power to have a voice and an impact on us. If this is the consumer, they want to participate in their care and need to feel empowered. If this is the employer or regulator they require reassurance that certain actions will be taken. Initial listening and some agreement is essential to then gain momentum which can be used to negotiate details in your favour.

Writing statements

The key is to show how our actions are reasonable. No more, no less, just reasonable. That means that another midwife would likely have done what we did or did not do in the circumstances. Showing our rationale will increase our credibility as a competent practitioner. We are all part of a professional body of knowledge (established in the Bolam Test Case). We do not all have to agree. If a court made a judgment against one it would also be made against the body of professional knowledge and opinion. Therefore, courts are generally reluctant to make judgments against medical or midwifery opinion unless the care did not meet the threshold for common sense or logical analysis (see Bolitho case) when evaluating the risk benefit analysis. A court can determine what is reasonable (see Marriott v West Midlands HA).

Use Open questioning: How, Who, Why, What, Where, When for any challenges or complaints. This will elicit more useful information that you can more easily clarify and resolve. Give objective information to others applying the facts to the situation with these six questions. (Information given should be more about what the listener wants to hear than what the teller wants to tell). Edit out emotional responses, (save this for trusted friends and colleagues).

‘Hope for the best, plan for the worst’. Be mindful of the unknown possibilities such as unexpected events which present without warning. Prepare for all consequences including professional and clinical issues. This simply means acting reasonably with a rationale and a plan. Show how you use communication with others to demonstrate that you are a collaborative practitioner (this can still be radical practice if you find another to support your view).


There is constant clear evidence for the failures of the regulatory authority*. This growing body of academic opinion and case law is useful to any future nurse or midwife facing professional or legal actions. Their precedents can be used by other Registrants to show how the courts will support them against unfair NMC processes. This may deescalate malicious or falsified actions early.

Regulatory Authorities

When the NMC decides a case in favour of a midwife, this might then be useful for a claim against those who brought the complaint. It would help to provide evidence of malicious falsehood and assist in a claim for compensation (and costs) for defamation owing to the loss of personal and professional reputation. Investigating those who abuse their positions of power e.g. management, LSAMOs and others who are on the Professional Register can lead to formal complaints to the NMC against those individuals. The fact that they have made a complaint against a midwife does not stop them from being investigated. This may reduce vexatious complaints.

Problems with the NMC

The NMC often get things wrong. It frequently abuses registrants with lengthy cases and fails to follow any rules of natural justice or even its own regulations. Courts have viewed NMC judgements as unsafe and overturned NMC decisions (as in the cases of Rosser and Duthie, see also Becky Reed and Clare Fisher cases). Courts have also viewed NMC processes as unreasonable, unsafe and therefore unlawful. The NMC is a political institution. Amazingly, the NMC has been rewarded with greater public funding through the government, despite these or because of these failings. That is political. Therefore, midwives need to be political in finding solutions. When dealing with the NMC it is essential to document everything clearly. All correspondence and calls needs to be dated and timed. This can be useful evidence if the NMC fails to respond reasonably. Complaints and appeals need to be copied to your MP (including opposition party MPs) who can also ask questions directly to the NMC and even in the House of Parliament on your behalf. This will raise awareness of the issues and work in favour of all midwives. Public bodies such as the NMC must only act within their power. If they abuse their power or act beyond it ‘ultra vires’ they are guilty under public law. Successful actions here include: misfeasance in a public office, breach of statutory duty and negligence. The threat of these actions may encourage a party to engage with you directly or via mediation.

How to survive and thrive as a midwife:

Be proactive with early documentation. (Get documents witnessed and signed by others e.g. colleagues or consumers to verify events). This is particularly useful following long conversations regarding risks and benefits analysis (e.g. home breech birth).

Collect verification and evidence for any potential situation.

Expert witness reports by other peer midwives can assist in stating that a midwife’s actions were reasonable in their view. This can be any midwife.

Challenge the challengers. Do this where their process is unfair e.g. failing to follow proper process, failing to work within agreed time limits, or going outside their powers e.g. breaching privacy or human rights. This leads to:

Counter-claim. Make a Personal Grievance or formal written complaint both to the offending body, employer, NMC and outside it e.g. to an ombudsman or similar independent organisation. Involve your Member of Parliament (MP) for awareness about how the public bodies, e.g. NHS or NMC are performing. Go outside the organisation / Employer / NMC, to another e.g. Care Quality Commission, Health and Safety Executive if required and let that organisation contribute to finding solutions. Making a legal claim is possible and can rebalance the power between the parties. The actions include:

Employment Actions (unfair or constructive dismissal, discrimination, less favourable treatment, failing to follow procedures, grievances et al)

Breach of Contract

Torts (Wrongs) include:

Malicious falsehood (statements),

Malicious Prosecution

Misfeasance in a public office

Breach of Statutory duty

Negligence (causing harm e.g. to reputation and financial loss)

Personal Injury (e.g. diagnosed depression from the negligence)

Other wrongs can be challenged in court

Share information and work collaboratively with others e.g. unions, colleagues who may have similar experiences to draw upon. Use Social Media wisely.

Use Professional Supervision to show how you engage in Professional Reflection and continuous professional development.

Make Reflective Practice notes to demonstrate how you are a reasonable and credible practitioner (and potential witness).

Ask for help. Get counselling. Offer to support others.

Let go of the process. This cultivates non-attachment to suffering and is essential for survival. Shift to a positive perspective through “Accepting what is, then seeing the good”. There is always some good to focus and build on.

Mediation is a useful softer option to engage in conversation with others. They may need the stick of suggesting litigation as a hard option for them to engage with the carrot of mediation.

Simply knowing your rights and asserting them with informative rebuttal of any falsified allegations will empower your position and help you find closure. Ask yourself how you want to look back on this from a better future then create it now.

Legal Cases

Duthie v NMC [2012] EWHC 3021 (Admin) Re IM UK Midwife wins case v NMC

Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee [1957] 2 All ER 118, p 121-122

Bolitho v City and Hackney HA 4 All ER 771 (HL) p 779 (establishes reasonable standard of care in medical negligence cases. This is where a midwife can use an expert witness report to show they acted reasonably within a body of knowledge)

Crawford Adjustors v Sagicor General Insurance (Caynman) Ltd (2013) 3 WLR 927 Malicious prosecution can now be applied to civil cases.

Reynolds v North Tynbeside HA 2002 Lloyds Rep Med 459 (QBD) regarding a midwife’s failure to perform a vaginal examination on admission to hospital which would have detected cord prolapse.

Wisniewski (A Minor) v Central Manchester HA [1998] PIQR p 324, Lloyds Rep Med 223 (CA) re failure by midwife to do VE “The risks of not acting were too great

and the downside very small”.


Carl Rogers On Becoming a Person (2011) Client Centred Therapy (New Ed 2012) and A Way of Being 1995.

Joseph Stulberg, The Middle Voice: Mediating Conflict Successfully, 2nd ed. (Florida State University Press 1997). This was between labour and delivery nurses and midwives in California.

Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English. Vintage 4th Ed 1997.

McClean A (2002). ‘Beyond Bolam and Bolitho’, Medical Law International, March 2002 5: 205-230.

Roger Fisher, William Ury (1981). Getting to Yes, Penguin.

Ron Paterson (2012). The Good Doctor, Auckland University Press.

Sun Tzu (1963).The Art of War, Translated by Samuel Griffith, OUP.

William Ury (1993). Getting Past No, Bantam Books

Paul Golden RM RN BA Law PGCEA (PGCert Mediation)

Paul is a Midwife Mediator and Educator. He works clinically as a midwife and neonatal nurse in the UK and NZ. He offers his mediation skills and specialises in healthcare, employment and family law.

He gives support, advice and legal services also offering Professional Supervision.

Contact him at www.mandalalaw.com or email mandalamediation@gmail.com

Note: a similar article was provided to ARM Journal September 2014. This article is differentiated due significant changes in editing and content.

Supervision in Midwifery

Recent changes and what Supervision means for all midwives.

The benefits of supervision are less burn out, increased performance, greater retention and happier midwives.  Will they pay for it?  If we consider the cost of not having supervision < dissatisfaction,  personal, employment and regulatory problems >

Midwives create their own professional supervision networks.

I offer Professional Supervision globally for Midwives, Nurses and other professionals (see http://www.mandalalaw.com for more information) or email mandalamediation@gmail.com

The following is an article from Nursing Times Net (UK).

MPs back change in law on midwifery supervision

Statutory supervision for midwives, which has been in place for more than 100 years, is no longer necessary, an influential committee of MPs has claimed.

Midwives are unique among the healthcare professions in that their supervision arrangements are protected in law. This means all midwives get regular support with their development from an experienced senior midwife.

But the House of Commons’ public administration select committee claimed there was “no evidence” of the benefits of statutory supervision compared to non-statutory arrangements for others including nurses.

“We need to reassure midwives we want to retain what is good about midwifery but that might not necessarily mean retaining statutory supervision,” said committee chair Bernard Jenkin.

“The kind of support midwives give to each other is about how they behave and the values midwives have as a profession and I doubt very much whether it is actually to do with the statute.”

Giving evidence to the committee Juliet Beal, director of nursing for quality improvement and care at NHS England, also questioned whether there was a need for “statutory supervision.”

However, she acknowledged most midwives were deeply concerned about the idea of scrapping statutory supervision.

“There is a fear among the profession that if supervision is not statutory it won’t continue,” she said.

“I think they look at nursing colleagues where supervision, which isn’t statutory, has not been implemented in organisations because there is not enough capacity in the system.”

The committee was reviewing progress on efforts to strengthen regulation of the profession in the light of urgent recommendations made by the health service ombudsman in December last year.

These include the need to address the “conflict of interest” which springs from the fact supervisors are responsible for the day to day line management of midwives and supporting their professional development as well as investigating any concerns about quality of care. The ombudsman recommended these two roles be separated.

Mr Jenkin said the committee was frustrated at the amount of time taken to act on the ombudsman’s report and accused ministers and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) of “making a great meal of something that should just be got on with”.

But NMC chief executive Jackie Smith said the changes were far from straightforward because of the need to assess the impact on all four UK nations and the “depth of feeling around the value of supervision”.

“I don’t think anyone would doubt the benefit of supervision,” said Ms Smith. “The question here is whether it needs to be in our legislation and what’s the best way of ensuring midwives get the support they need during their practice and the public is protected.”

The NMC has commissioned the King’s Fund to look at various options for regulation before agreeing a way forward.

HRIC HUMAN RIGHTS IN CHILDBIRTH draft for New Zealand Aotearoa

Below is a draft for HRIC indiegogo campaign.  It is put here for consultation, your comments and information are invited.

New Zealand (native Maori name is Aotearoa). Has its own Maori language. English is generally used throughout the country.

Maternity Care system

These provide free care to citizens and residents.
There are options for private maternity care with obstetricians in government and private facilities.

Midwives (Lead Maternity Carers – LMC and Core Midwives)

There is a resident population of around 4.5 million people spread over the two islands with most in the cities. Many migrants have settled here from the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Rest of Europe, with increasing Asian and Oriental migration. Auckland has the highest Polynesian population (greater than Polynesia itself).

Maori and Polynesian present refreshing cultures with their own celebrations of birth and challenges (higher rates of diabetes with poorer health outcomes than other ethnicities).

Wellington is the political capital yet Auckland is the economic commercial and academic centre with the largest city population (around 1.5 million). It has 4 health boards each with a large hospital and some smaller community hospitals which generally have maternity units.
The major cities are Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Christchurch. The smaller cities include New Plymouth, Nelson, Napier, Whangarei.

There are remote rural hospitals which cater for low risk births, transferring women and babies to tertiary units for specialised care such as prematurity below 36 weeks (Greymouth) or 32 weeks Nelson.

The city hospitals are similar to those in other countries. They are staffed by many European British and American doctors and midwives as well as locals.

General information on birth statistics
Most births are in a large hospital, then smaller government hospitals and then birthing units. Independent Midwives (Lead Maternity Carers [LMCs] will be with birthing women in and outside hospital/birthing units).

Mortality rates are generally low. The trend has not improved despite increased intervention. Morbidity rates are not accurately measured. They appear to be increasing in response to greater intervention. Morbidity includes Perinatal Maternal Mental Health (PMMH) as well as physical morbidity, such as, infection from instrumental and surgical birth wounds*).

Perinatal Infant Morbidity is also under-evaluated*. This includes higher rates of admission into Neonatal units for ‘observation’ which results in increased interventions and the ‘knock on effect’ e.g. of Intravenous Antibiotics for rupture of membranes greater than 24 hours before birth.
The Caesarean Section rate (nationally is around 25%*) with some places much higher and others much lower. This rate has been increasing dramatically over the last 25 years.

Home Birth
It is legal to have a home birth. There are home birth support groups. The Home birth rate is nationally around 4%*.

Home birth was the norm in the 1960’s and changed towards hospitals with a belief in the technological system similar to the UK and parts of Europe. However, in the rural areas it is still more ‘normal’ to birth at home or in local maternity units rather than large hospitals. These areas tend to have more contact with nature, agriculture and animals than women in the cities.

There are some individual practices having up to 50%. These higher rates show that motivated midwives achieve higher rates due to supporting women with information so that they then can make well-informed decisions about whether to go into hospital rather than have the default set with a premature decision made at booking.

History – Development of Independent Midwifery
Independent midwifery was provided for under legislation just over 24 years ago. The Nurses Amendment Act 1990 provided for Direct Entry Midwifery training and the setting for a more autonomous midwifery practice. The founding work for this was done by a visionary midwife Joan Donley and continued in various forms by others in academia and the midwifery profession.
With NZ being a small country there are inevitable questions of conflicts of interests between midwives the regulator, educators and the professional body.

Professional organisation: NZ College of Midwives NZCOM http://www.midwife.org.nz/
Regulatory Body: NZ Midwifery Council  http://www.midwiferycouncil.health.nz/
Disciplinary Tribunal Cases (Midwifery) http://www.hpdt.org.nz/Default.aspx?tabid=72
Health Disability Commission HDC http://www.hdc.org.nz/

Legal economic status of midwives
Midwives salaries were good at the time of the new legislation as they replaced the General Practitioner (Family Doctor) who often attended just at the end of the birth. The fees have increased very little over the years making remote rural midwifery a challenge with the high travel costs.

Salaries are around NZD$75,000 in hospital and NZD$95,000 as an LMC. The LMC case-load recommendation is for around 5 women per month. Some midwives will have as many as 15 or even more per month and dramatically increase their incomes as well as their chances of error and complaints. However many other midwives take a light case load of even less than 5 women per month. This gives a greater work life balance and reduces potential professional and regulatory problems.

This has led to more LMC midwives returning to work in the hospital system for greater security and less on call. Burnout exists in both hospital and LMC practice.

The majority of the 3000 midwives are employed with about 40% self-employed. (statistics from NZ Midwifery council http://www.midwiferycouncil.health.nz/images/stories/pdf/Publications/Workforce%20Survey%202012.pdf

The self-employed model is funded by the government in the same way it funds GP (family doctors). The midwife is not employed by the government.

All registered midwives are regulated by the Midwivery Council. This was set up as a separate entity from the previously mixed Nursing and Midwifery Council.

The philosophy of those wanting separation from nursing appears to have been to promote birth as normal life event rather than a medicalised procedure. This has mixed results as midwives now do not gain experience or education in anything seen as ‘nursing’ such as intensive care of mothers or babies.

This ideal has led to some midwives
a) Encouraging mothers to birth at home or in small birthing units when there are risks that have not been identified http://aim.org.nz/
b) Not recognising, preventing and dealing with abnormalities including resuscitation
c) Being ‘bashed’ by the media and the public for failing women.

This has contributed to reducing public confidence in midwives and increased the climate of fear around birthing for some who then choose a medical model of care rather than a midwifery one.

HRIC activity
Consumer rights are very strong in New Zealand Aotearoa. There are various protections including the Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC above) who reviews consumer complaints and makes recommendations to Registration bodies for Midwives (and others) and the hearings are public with published documents.  HDC can refer matters to the Director of Proceedings who takes Disciplinary Tribunal action against registered Midwives.

HDC is a great ideal of public accountability yet has its own shortcomings. It is not always a fair process, and the delays cause hardship to the midwife who has been complained about. There is a culture of the consumer is right as the have taken the trouble to complain so their perception of events is that their complaint has some validity.

HDC could use more mediation and engage with registered midwives, yet the HDC systems do not tend to provide for this despite legislation.

There was a time when consumers had little or no voice. Now the opposite is true. The midwife has little voice. They will write a statement for the HDC or Regulatory Body the Midwifery Council and then wait many months for any information about their case.

The HDC refer midwives to the Midwifery council without any actual complaint or problem just generally responding to public opinion and then saying they have sent the midwife for more education on certain areas to show they have done something. There is less scrutiny of hospital midwifery (or medical practices) by HDC.

Whilst it is good to have greater accountability of midwifery, this situation can be counter-productive as midwives feel ‘scapegoated’ by errors in the system or unfair complaints, which in turn reduce the HRIC for women who cannot then find a suitable local midwife. Retention of midwives is a problem throughout the country especially in Wellington and Auckland. Lack of positive leadership is a problem. The average age of midwives in NZ Aotearoa is around 50 with average length of practice 15 years.

The NZ Midwifery model aims to celebrate a partnership with the women.
In general, this works well, with high levels of satisfaction for both midwives and women. However, some midwives feel they are in an unequal relationship where the woman does not always declare their past medical conditions and this can result in poor health outcomes in pregnancy for which a midwife can be receive an unfair complaint and then the investigation process takes its toll. The partnership model can bring women to engage more in the relationship than they might otherwise. This allows women a greater voice as well as giving them shared responsibility for their birthing.

Accident Compensation Corporation ACC http://www.acc.co.nz/
This provides no fault compensation. Therefore there is no need to prove negligence or damage by others to be given financial support. It does not make big lump sum payments, rather it will ensure the best cost effective treatment for an injury. Interestingly, a perineal tear is not covered unless it was an ‘accident’ i.e. done via surgical intervention (forceps or ventouse). This prevents many stressful court actions however it prevents open accountability or challenges of poor practice.

The medical defence systems are usually very robust in most countries and this is true of New Zealand Aotearoa. There are some medical negligence cases and these follow the Case Law of the UK as well as developing their own precedents. The notable cases for reasonable practice are Bolam and Bolitho (UK).  http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/clinical-negligencehttp://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199798/ldjudgmt/jd971113/boli01.htm  


HRIC Issues
HRIC issues are around choices being well informed and not coercive. Daily accounts are made of coercive unnecessary interventions in most hospitals. Women do not always test the veracity of the information given to them e.g.
• IVAB in labour for ruptured membranes,
• Induction of labour for vague non-clinical reasons

There is a high level of compliance by women and midwives with a medical model of intervention. Some of this is driven by time and staffing limitations, other times it is misplaced trust in the medical model. Fear is a factor and is fuelled by media coverage of the few poor outcomes. Some medical disasters are blamed on midwives and the mud sticks. One case will be referred to for many years as if there are current ongoing problems. Media appear to love a negative story.

 Maternity Service Consumer Council (MSCC) http://www.maternity.org.nz/ is a noble organisation based in Auckland. It challenges and champions maternity causes with a small dedicated team. It is severely limited in how it can help.

Generally there are no strong consumer groups. This had led to negative media coverage of midwives. Midwives are advised not to comment to the media by their professional body (nzcom). This situation leads to greater public criticism of midwives often based on misinformation. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10738247

HOME BIRTH – Peer support exists for Homebirth groups (which often also support women birthing in hospitals). The Home Birth Aotearoa organisation is very supportive http://homebirth.org.nz/ and has a list of useful questions to ask a homebirth midwife to check suitability for the woman.

WATERBIRTH is supported and offered throughout NZ Aotearoa with some hospitals and midwives providing higher numbers of waterbirths than others.

All organisations above were contacted and invited to share information related to HRIC and all have declined.

More to come… including … more Statistics


  • Be your own advocate
  • Know your rights
  • Legislation & Case Law References 



WEBSITE http://www.mandalalaw.com or EMAIL Mandala Mediation mandalamediation@gmail.com

Human Rights in Childbirth HRIC – celebrating new website July 2014

I support Human Rights in Childbirth because this is a time of immense vulnerability for mothers and babies.

This is an opportunity to make birth the best it can be. This then contributes to our communities becoming stronger sustainable healthy places.

The current systemised unnecessary interventions are often more about large institutions or people who have forgotten their humanity.

I stand up for HRIC so that they can stand up for others.

We can all help each other to celebrate our rights as humans.

Paul Golden (Midwife Mediator and Birth Activist for over 30 years)