Raise The Red Flag. Make The Government Listen.

“Studies show that countries that fail to invest in the well-being of women and children in the first 1,000 days lose billions of dollars to lower economic productivity and higher health costs”. - WHO

Raise the red flag and demand mothers receive basic perinatal rights and support. We approached the Government for help. They turned us away.

We're calling for equitable perinatal care across New Zealand via a targeted ring-fenced fund that is determined by the mother’s choice about the care she needs and receives.

This should include the necessary wraparound services to meet her medical and wellbeing needs.

Raise the red flag. Make them listen.

The background

“Birth should not be a time in a woman’s life when she has to FIGHT for anything.” -Carla Hartley

Perinatal care funding should follow the mother’s needs and choice of care.

This means providing for funded obstetrician-gynaecological health checks, pre-birth and post-birth, with wraparound services to meet her needs and those of her whānau. High obstetric risk women should be directed to appropriate facilities.

If we’re serious about making intergenerational change in maternity care in our country, we must start at the beginning and look after our mothers. The scientific research into the first 1000 days of a child’s life and its impact on the rest of their life is irrefutable.

This means we must restore equitable maternity and postnatal care to all women, but particularly those at-risk, where Māori are overrepresented. Poor maternal mental health doesn’t discriminate – it crosses socio-economic, cultural and ethnic boundaries.

Equitable maternity and postnatal care will lead to parents having a better capability to raise secure, resilient, and adaptable children.

This must be achieved by Government legislation that establishes a ring-fenced fund which gives a mother choice about where she receives her care. This should include the necessary wraparound services to meet her medical and wellbeing needs.

Equity of maternity and postnatal care across New Zealand is critical to curbing the country’s stark and shameful statistics: a maternal suicide rate that is five times higher per capita than the UK (PMMRC Annual Report 2019), and one of the worst postnatal depression, family abuse and child homicide records in the world.

Mothers already have a legal right to at least 48 hours of postnatal care but are often not receiving it because of overloaded maternity units. They are often leaving hospital exhausted, without having recovered or receiving the necessary support for their health needs. Science shows it’s the most vulnerable time for mother and baby.

This time known as the ‘window of opportunity’ after birth allows bonds to form between mothers, babies and whānau that is critical to their lifelong health – mental and physical.

Supporting mothers today is foundational to our nation’s social and economic success and will pay dividends in the future of our society.

Well mother – well child – healthy nation.

Mothers Matter: Raise the Red FlagGet Involved

We chose a red flag badge to represent our Who Holds Our Mothers? campaign because red represents Te Whei Ao, the realm of coming into being.

It symbolises the female element. It also represents the concepts of active, flashing, falling, emergence, forest, land, and gestation. Red is Papatūānuku, the Earth Mother, the sustainer of all living things.


You can raise the red flag by:

1. Copy this letter and send to our PM and your MP. The more our Government hears from Aotearoa New Zealand the more likely change will happen. Join us in letting the Government know that you too demand the changes that we are calling for. Feel free to edit this letter and add your powerful story to this.

2. Update your social media profile picture. Download the Facebook graphics and profile frame here.

3. Share your Story: Sharing your story brings huge power to our campaign, it adds a personal voice that demonstrates to our Government the real experience of New Zealand and the need for urgent change. Click here to share your story with us.

4. Share our red flagsContact us if you would like to distrbute red flag badges in your comunity and we will post you some to help spread the message.

5. Begin the conversation. Speak up about what is happening in your whanau and community, have brave and bold conversations with fellow mamas about the reality of life as a mama today.