Mothers Matter is dismayed to hear no reference to early prevention strategies in the Labour Party’s recent ‘Let’s Keep
“All the research is there,’ says Chloe Wright, the movement’s founder. “Once we invest in the early years, we save huge
costs in the future in areas such as mental health, crime, unemployment, health and incarceration. On the flip side, we
grow healthier populations that achieve more. So where is the government’s strategy around prevention?’
Mothers Matter is fighting for New Zealand’s birthing system to be replaced.
“48 hours in the current birthing system is not enough and frankly, many women don’t want to stay in hospital because
it’s crowded, understaffed and under-resourced. Additionally, many women are asked to leave early because the system is
under enormous pressure.”
Research shows that the first hours and days of birth are ‘golden window’ for mother, baby and partner bonding.
“Mothers who stay for the duration of their 48 hours are proven to be healthier and have better outcomes for babies. But
Mothers Matter wants more than 48 hours and we want facilities that mum actually wants to stay in.’
Wright says the birthing centres she built to create a healthy birthing culture in New Zealand are sitting unutilised by
“Mums are still unaware there is a choice of where they can birth. DHBs are holding on to government funding allocated
for birthing mothers. Our centres offer expert care, an oasis of peace in private rooms with queen beds and their own
birthing baths. Partners can be invited to stay over by mum. But DHBs in areas of high need refuse to support these
purpose-built birthing centres.
“How can a government talk about equity and caring for our vulnerable when they have shown a shameful lack of attention
to women’s and babies most at risk time in their lives?
“This, despite all the research that proves investment at birth is a powerful preventative tool. Birthing Centre was
established to establish a blueprint for government to move forward in our treatment of mothers and babies– so when are
we going to start moving?”