Caitlin Woods | Wright Family Foundation Kupe Leadership Scholar

Master of Health Sciences (Honours)

Aotearoa continues to grapple with a significant shortage of midwives within our healthcare system. The demand for midwifery services has risen due to a growing population, rise in birth rates, and increased complexities in pregnancy. This surge has put a strain on our already stretched workforce, exacerbating burnout among midwives, and resulting in considerable challenges in caring for expectant wа̄hine and whа̄nau.

Working as a midwife, my passion involves addressing our staffing crisis and actively contributing to viable solutions that will establish a sustainable workforce and enhance perinatal care. I plan to advocate for positive and lasting change that prioritises the hauora of midwives and the communities we serve. Reshaping the landscape of our midwifery services in Aotearoa is crucial to achieve Pae Ora, and I aspire to work towards a future where every māmā and pēpi receive the quality care they deserve. 

Sponsor: Wright Family Foundation

Mentor: Alison Eddy, RM, RCPN, MPH

Alison is a registered midwife and was appointed to the role of Chief Executive in January 2019. Alison is committed to evolving the College to continue to meet the needs of its members, ensuring it provides services that support members to provide high quality care maternity care to women and their babies. Alison has worked as a Midwifery Advisor at the College for a number of years and previously as Project and Contract Manager for Manatū Hauora | The Ministry of Health. Her experience as a self-employed and employed midwife provides a broad base of knowledge to lead the College forward. Her work at the College together with her previous public health work, Ministry of Health and student health management positions have given her the background to manage College staff and contracts. Her Master’s degree provided new knowledge on water birth and she maintains a keen interest in research and outcomes that support midwifery practice. She was the first midwife Deputy Chair of the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee and has contributed greatly to the statistical analysis of maternity outcomes in New Zealand.