Maternity Quality and Safety Advisory Programme

This page is dedicated to Whanganui District Health Board’s Maternity Quality and Safety Programme. Regular updates including key planning documents will be posted to enable you to keep informed of developments and allow you to understand where and how you can have a say about the proposed maternity quality improvements.

What does the Maternity Quality Initiative include?

The Maternity Quality Initiative is made up of:

Image courtesy of Tairawhiti DHB

• a national quality and safety programme for maternity services, including maternity standards and clinical indicators
• revised Maternity Referral Guidelines, which set out processes for transfers of clinical responsibility for care including in an emergency
• standardised, electronic maternity information management to improve communication and sharing of health information among health practitioners
• improved maternity information systems and analysis, so there is better reporting and monitoring of maternity services.

The Quality and Safety Programme for Maternity Services will build on quality improvement processes already in place in district health boards (DHBs).

At a national level, the programme will consist of specific national tools to guide the provision of maternity services, including the New Zealand Maternity Standards and New Zealand Maternity Clinical Indicators. At the local level, the New Zealand Maternity Standards and Clinical Indicators will underpin a programme of ongoing, systematic review by a local multidisciplinary team with strong consumer involvement that works together to identify ways that services and care can be improved and to implement those improvements.

Maternity Quality and Safety Programme Locality Groups

We have great pleasure in introducing the Locality Group representatives for:


Robyn McDougal represents the New Zealand College of Midwives and rural communities. She has been a rural midwife in the Waimarino community and has worked in the women’s health area for the past 25 years. Robyn is passionate about making a difference in the delivery of maternity services. Robyn is the sub regional chair for the New Zealand College of Midwives. She has an extensive knowledge of rural health provision in the Waimarino, Taihape , Dannevirke and Taumaranui communities.

Lenna Young
My name is Lenna Young and I currently work as the Midwife Manager/Head of Midwifery for the Whanganui District health Board I have worked as a midwife in New Zealand for over 27 years and been a practising midwife for 34 years. Over this time I have worked in various roles both in the hospital setting and as an LMC within the Whanganui community. I believe it is paramount that we provide a quality and safe service to women and their family/whanau and it is my opinion that can only be achieved if we keep the women at the centre of care ensuring all maternity care providers communicate, collaborate and recognise and understand each other’s roles and work together to provide an effective, quality service.

Carla Donson
As the Manager of the Women’s Network a key part of my role is to advocate for our community, and in particular to lobby on issues which predominantly affect the life outcomes and wellbeing of our women, and those who are most vulnerable. This year the Women’s Network took a lead role with the NZ College of Midwives in supporting a community-wide campaign that sought greater involvement from our people in the development of the Regional Women’s Health Service. I have actively supported and led a number of family violence initiatives, as well as a variety of youth events, and sexual health projects – including coordinating (three times) a nationally acclaimed two-day diversity conference. Currently I am working in partnership with the Whanganui Regional Primary Health Organisation to develop an experience-based consumer driven framework to be utilised as a tool for more inclusive consumer involvement at every possible level of service delivery and systems co-design. In my work, life, and role as a part-time newspaper columnist I view all issues from a community perspective. I am passionate about making positive change for women, and about enriching the lives of our most vulnerable to ensure that we can all stand in our rightful place in our community

Angelique Tucker
I am a self employed midwife in urban Whanganui. I have been registered just over 6 yrs and spent 5 of those years working in a remote rural practice in Taihape. I have three children ranging from 14-9yrs old, one patient husband. I have been a member of the College of Midwives since 2000 and an active consumer representative from 2000-2004 when I began my midwifery training.

Silo Naqasima is one of the Pacifica representatives on the Locality Group. She is currently a member of the Frangipani Pan Pasifika of Whanganui Trust. Silo’s key role as part of the Trust is engaging with the Pasifika community in Whanganui.

Jon Buchan is the Nurse Manager for Maternity Services with the Whanganui DHB. As a registered adult and paediatric nurse in the UK with almost ten years’ experience in emergency nursing in both the UK and New Zealand, he has cared for women across the entire spectrum of acute obstetric emergency. The impact on women and their families of poor service provision and the confusion, inconsistent approaches to care has been made very apparent during this time. Jon firmly believes all women and their families deserve the best possible service, delivered with a consistently high quality of care to ensure the best outcomes possible for babies, mothers and whanau.

As the father of three children (all daughters), each born in a different country he has experienced various models of maternity care provision, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Jon has a significant interest in the delivery of maternity standards and is keen to take an active role in implementing the Groups recommendations.

Bonnie Sue is the Manager of Ngati Rangi Community Health Centre Inc in Ohakune. She currently sits on MOHAG and has been nominated by this group as the Iwi/Maori representative for the Locality Group.

Raewyn Harris is a registered midwife with previous experience working as a core midwife in rural, primary units and tertiary level hospitals throughout New Zealand. In Whanganui I set up and led a Lead Maternity Carer group practice. During this time I was also involved with ongoing midwife mentoring and supervision. Roles I held were chairperson of the central region and local region of the College of Midwives, nominated as a midwifery advisor, worked on the resolution committee, local SANDS midwifery representative, served on the WDHB obstetric review committee and on the Home Birth Trust.

Lucy Pettit has been in midwifery for 20 years, having trained and worked in the UK. Before that I worked as a staff nurse on acute surgery and gynaecology wards. But I have always been interested in women's health. I moved to New Zealand almost eight years ago with my family and have worked as a midwife in Wanganui almost all of this time. I work as a core midwife and midwifery educator and occasionally take clients as an LMC. Last year I completed my masters degree and am currently taking some time off study before starting a PhD.

Anna Skinner
I graduated from the University of Otago in 2000 and have postgraduate qualifications in General Practice and Obstetrics. I am passionate about access to safe, high quality maternity care, particularly for rural women and those at socio economic disadvantage. I have provided LMC maternity care in Dannevirke from 2003-2008 and have also spent some time working in rural Australia. With my partner Leah and our 3 children, I have also volunteered in Kenya and Cambodia and I bring this wide experience working with women to this role.

Digby Ngan Kee is the Regional Clinical Director for Women’s Health services for Whanganui and MidCentral DHBs.

Thabani Sibanda, Specialist Obstetrician & Gynaecologist
Qualifications: MBChB (Zim), MSc in Medical Statistics (Leicester), MRCOG, CCT (UK)
I am a Specialist in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, with an interest and expertise multi-professional training and healthcare quality improvement.
I helped develop the PROMPT course (Bristol, UK), and carried out research (published) evaluating its impact on clinical outcomes. I have since led implementation of the course in many places including both the developed and the developing world.
My quality improvement expertise has been used in the development and implementation of tools for measuring, monitoring, and improving maternity clinical outcomes, including pioneering the use of Statistical Process Control methods in setting the RAG status (Red Amber Green) on the Maternity Dashboard. I have since led the implementation of the Maternity Dashboard in centres in both the developed and the developed world.
I have authored several peer reviewed publications and abstracts on quality improvement topics, including measuring and monitoring outcomes and training.

Susan Osborne is the kaiwhakahaere, coordinator Maori Health working in the Maori Health service of the DHB.

Louise Allsop is the manager for Allied Health for Whanganui DHB

Sharon McFarland is the manager of Community Mental Health for Whanganui DHB


Cheryl Benn is a registered midwife and international board certified lactation consultant. She graduated with her doctorate in 1994 after immigrating to NZ. She holds the position of Associate Professor at Massey university and works as a lead maternity carer midwife doing home and hospital births. Cheryl also works part-time as Regional Midwifery Advisor for MidCentral and Whanganui DHBs. Cheryl is married to Ken and has a son studying for a PhD in mathematics at Notre Dame university in the USA and a daughter studying dentistry at Otago University. She enjoys walking and spending time with family and friends, and loves summer!!

Bridie Thomas has been nominated to represent women and midwives of Palmerston North on the Locality Group. She believes the process of improving the Quality and Safety of New Zealand's Maternity Care services can make a valuable difference to all outcomes.

Bridie is a New Zealand trained Direct Entry midwife, and has been elected the current Chairperson of the Manawatu Branch of the New Zealand College of Midwives. She enjoys the challenges of representing this professional group in this role within our region. After 16 years of midwifery practice she is experienced as a homebirth midwife, has worked as a Remote Rural and Urban LMC, and has been employed within hospitals in Primary and Secondary care settings. Bridie also provides Locum midwifery service cover, to ensure consistent midwifery care for our communities, and respite support to professional colleagues. She is currently employed as a Secondary Care midwife for Midcentral DHB.

Bridie and her husband moved to Palmerston North from the South Island 10 years ago. She has four sons, and one grandson.

Jenny Warren is delighted to be a consumer representative for Locality Group. Having experienced the maternity system three times myself in the last six years in both primary and secondary settings and working with nearly 100 hundred women and their families in both the Horowhenua and Manawatu each year, I feel I have good exposure to the needs and wants of the consumer in this significant time of their lives. I have been a Childbirth Educator for over 4 years now, teaching in Levin, Palmerston North and Paraparaumu. I work for Aoraki Polytechnic, supervising students currently gaining their Diploma in Childbirth Education. I am also a MSR consumer panel member for NZCOM. Most importantly I am Mum to three wonderful children!!!

My name is Inez Schmidt-Rademacher and I am representing maternity consumers on this Locality Group. We have ‘been through the system’ when our son Thomas was born in 2010 and are looking forward to receive the same quality care early next year with our second child. My husband and I moved to New Zealand in 2007 (yes, the name is North-German) and enjoy growing our own food -the roast and the veggies- on our lifestyle block south of Palmerston North. I have a background in the food industry (research, food safety and risk assessments) and left my position as Scientist mid of this year to spend more time with our son, as well as concentrating on my studies (childbirth educator and yoga instructor) and volunteer work in the Manawatu Homebirth Association. The more insight I am getting into the New Zealand maternity system and the more I am learning about the complex dynamics in pregnancy and childbirth, the more I am getting to appreciate the unique midwifery system we have in this country and the choices we are able to make. I am hoping to make a positive contribution to keep and improve this system to support midwifery and obstetric staff in their roles as well as best outcomes for us consumers.

Jane Stojanovic is currently the Charge Midwife at Horowhenua Maternity Unit. Her midwifery experience includes homebirth, secondary and tertiary hospital midwifery, neonatal care and LMC midwifery work (including the establishment of a rural Birthing Centre). Jane has been involved in PHO and DHB governance, and is a member of the Midwifery Council’s Professional Conduct Committee. She was lecturer in midwifery at Massey University and is a foundation member of the New Zealand College of Midwives. Jane has a particular interest in the history of midwifery and the birth of the placenta and recently completed a PhD in Midwifery. She lives in Otaki alongside her children and grandchildren.

My name is Linda Shannon and I have worked as a self employed midwife for 10 years
working with a variety of midwives over that time. I completed a Bachelor of Midwifery
at Massey University, Wellington and registered as a midwife in 2000. I registered as a nurse
in 1980. Over the past 10 years I have had a caseload from 35-50 women per year and over
recent years enjoyed 50% of the births at home. I provide care in hospital and at home
including waterbirths. For the last 18 months I have worked part-time at Palmerston North
Hospital as a core midwife providing secondary care. I have also have worked as a rural
locum midwife in Manawatu and Tararua. I have worked in Dannevirke Community New
Zealand College of Midwives(NZCOM).Having roles as Manawatu Chairperson and Central
Regional Chairperson. For 3 years I represented NZCOM on Service Improvement Meeting
at Women’s Health Unit, Palmerston North Hospital.

I live on a farm, am married and have 4 adult children. I love the idea of providing another midwife with a break from being on call and keeping myself up to date with LMC practice.
I am a caring, careful, enthusiastic woman who enjoys relating to others. My capable and adaptable nature helps me easily fit in to new and changing situations and groups. As a fellow Playcentre parent described me - ”Linda demonstrates a high level of self understanding, honesty, and a ready sense of humour. She was a reliable and unflappable team member, who contributed to management and problem solving with her clear thinking, energy and excellent communication skills”. I thought this describes me well. I am committed to women experiencing natural birth and love being part of the beginning of mothering. I believe your births effect your mothering – a great experience at birthing is a great start to mothering. It seems to make a difference when women choose what happens to them during the birth process-even when things get complicated, leaving them empowered. I am also committed to women in New Zealand experiencing safe midwifery care and believe it is essential for society, as birth is the beginning. I think everyone deserves a great start. I also think midwives need looking after. I have supported new midwives in practice and wish to continue to do this. I believe if new midwives are well supported by other midwives, there is less fear around births, both in the midwives and women, which can only improve outcomes. I remember well being a new grad LMC and think the mentoring programme offered is excellent.

Leona Dann is the Director of Midwifery for MidCentral DHB. Leona has been a standing member of the MCH Clinical Board since April 2010. She has worked in the MidCentral DHB region as an LMC midwife for eight years after which she became a Charge Midwife for MidCentral DHB in 2003. Leona is involved in Midwifery from an operational level but also works with the Midwifery Advisor MidCentral DHB and other Midwifery Leaders on strategic midwifery issues nationally. Leona’s activities include: the chairperson for the Central Region Midwifery leaders, member of the Regional Clinical Board, Midwifery Leader representative on the national Midwifery Safe Staffing Advisory Group. Leona works with LMC midwives to ensure she maintains her midwifery APC. Her doctorate in Health Sciences is researching women’s experience of pregnancy and early mothering following repeat invitro-fertilisation. Leona believes it is essential that there is a work life balance and so enjoys exercising, playing the piano or cello and quality time with family and friends.

Jayne Waite trained as a comprehensive nurse in Dunedin, then worked for a brief time in Forensic Psychiatry. I completed my midwifery training in Wellington in 1995. I initially worked as an LMC in the Porirua area with most of my births at Kenepuru Hospital. I took a year off after the birth of my first child and returned as a core midwife at Kenepuru hospital, a level 1 birthing unit. I did the charge midwife role in the unit for a year covering maternity leave before moving to Palmerston North Hospital. I have worked here since that time as a core midwife and lately covering the Charge Midwife position. I am chairperson of the Midcentral Midwifery Practising Committee, treasurer for the regional College of Midwives and do some locum work for local LMC's. I am able to bring a well rounded view of the issues facing maternity care in our region as I have had a perspective from many varied roles as midwife and consumer.

Robyn Williamson is the service manager for Women’s Health services for MidCentral DHB.
I trained here in the first Polytechnic Nursing Training class and have worked for MCH all of my working life. I have a background as a Neonatal Nurse, then Team Leader Child health and now Service Manager Women’s and Child Health. I am currently chair of the National Child Health Manager Group.

Susan Murphy is the Manager of Quality and Clinical risk for the DHB.

Kia ora. Ko Tungane Kani toku ingoa. Ko Ngati Kahungunu ki te Wairoa, Te Hika o Papauma me Ngati Pakeha nga kawai heke oku. Ko Henare Kani toku Hoa Rangatira, tokoiwa a maua tamariki, tokotoru nga mokopuna.

I am a midwife with 17 years experience spanning homebirth in Manawatu and Tararua, also LMC work in the community and in hospitals in Dannevirke, Wairoa and Gisborne. I have also worked as a Tamariki Ora Nurse for Te Kete Hauora Rangitane, and a Family Start Kaimahi for Te Runanga o Raukawa in the Horowhenua. I am a Cultural Auditor for NZ Breastfeeding Authority BFHI, a Midwifery Standards Reviewer for NZ College of Midwives, and a member of Nga Maia. Currently living and working in Dannevirke, I am a passionate advocate for rural midwifery, whanau ora and continuity of traditional Maori birthing practices.

Hinetewhiurangi Kani is the Maori representative for the Locality Group. Hinetewhiurangi Kani was raised, schooled and continue to live in Dannevirke. I have four children and five (almost six) grandchildren. I support and work with Whanau.Biz providing professional development, cultural competency and support to individuals and organisations nationwide and am passionate about promoting good relationships at all levels.

Ko Raekatia te maunga, Mangapuaka te wai, Ruahuihui te papakainga, Parkiore te hapu, Te Rangiwhakaewa te tangata, Rangitane e iwi.

Di Sproull is the Well Child representative. Di is the manager of Plunket in Palmerston North.

Erica Henderson is a registered social worker and Professional Advisor Social Work for MidCentral Health and is currently the Allied Health Representative on the Locality Group. She has a strong interest and commitment to women’s health and am currently involved with the local SPIN (Supporting Parents in Need) group. Erica has a particular interest in women’s access to quality services and maternal mental health.”

Richard Atkinson trained as both a Psychiatric Nurse and a General Nurse in the United Kingdom prior to emigrating to New Zealand in 1988 with his wife and four children. He is now the proud grandfather of eight with two more on the way. He has worked primarily in the mental health area and is currently Service Manager for specialist mental health services at Mid Central Health, which include Child and Youth Mental Health, Maternal Mental Health, Eating Disorder, Early Intervention in Psychosis, Rehabilitation and Alcohol and other Drug Services. Prior to moving to Mid Central in 2006, he worked clinically with the Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health Service in Whanganui for ten years.

Makareta Moffatt – Tumu Whakahaere/Manager for He Hikinga Manawa/Early Childhood sector of Te Runanga o Raukawa (TROR) based in Levin. Makareta as a consumer representative will bring concerns and positive feedback of the Family Start, Parents as First Teachers and other whanau accessing TROR services to this forum.
Ko Tararua te pae maunga. Ko Otaki te awa. Ko Ngaati Raukawa, Ngaati Toa Rangatira, Te Ati Awa, Te Ati Haunui a Paparangi ngaa Iwi.


The workstreams that will be worked on by the Locality Groups over the next few months are:

  • Maternity Quality Coordinators – recruitment and appointment
  • Consumer Engagement
  • SUDI
  • Professional Development
  • Stocktake against national standards
  • Cultural Responsiveness
  • Information Systems
  • Maternal Mental Health
  • Communications Plan.