News and Notices

Highlighting rural midwifery services on International Day of the Midwife

This Sunday marks International Day of the Midwife 2024 which celebrates those who work tirelessly to provide the best possible care for parents, pēpē and their whānau.

In New Zealand, midwifery is more than delivering babies; it is the care provided throughout pregnancy and six weeks following birth.

Lisa Butcher Midwife

Lisa Butcher, Lead Maternity Care Midwife.

Shortly after turning 40, Lisa Butcher decided that it was time to embark on a new career and started studying midwifery, something she had been considering for a while.   

Since graduating last December, Lisa took up the role of Lead Maternity Care Midwife, which sees her attending to pregnant people and new parents across the region, as far as Murchison and the surrounding area, while also working as Core Hospital Midwife at Wairau Hospital.

Those living in rural areas can be faced with barriers, such as having to drive long distances to attend regular appointments, “For a lot of lower income families, it’s really cost prohibitive. If it’s a one-hour drive to get to the appointment, it’s expensive and usually time away from a job”, Lisa said.

By having systems in place which allow Lisa and her team to carry out blood tests, give vaccinations in people’s homes and assist with safe and supportive home births, some of these obstacles are removed.

While the role of a midwife can be challenging, it’s a path Lisa feels fulfilled to have chosen, “Having studied at a more advanced age, you’ve got to be committed to do it. It is so rewarding, it is very hard, but worth it”, she said.

Thanks to the amazing advice and support from colleagues in Nelson Marlborough, Lisa continues to learn and adapt in her new role, while passing on her own knowledge. 

“Every single birth is neat; you still get that little tear in your eye and think oh wow this is pretty cool. Being with a family at such a pivotal time in their life is amazing. There’s a lot of those highs, and they nourish your soul. To see them afterwards thriving and becoming a new family, that journey is special”.

— Lisa Butcher, Lead Maternity Care Midwife and Core Hospital Midwife

The theme for International Day of the Midwife this year is ‘Midwives are a vital climate solution: The workforce we need for a warming world’ acknowledges how midwives make health systems more sustainable, combat climate change, and ensure a healthier, more sustainable future for all.

If you'd like to join the midwifery team in Nelson Marlborough, please visit –

For more information about midwifery education, please visit –