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Dear Minister/[MP NAME]

In support of the Mothers Matter Who Holds Our Mothers? campaign

If we’re serious about making positive intergenerational change in our country, we must start at the beginning and look after our mothers. The irrefutable scientific research behind a child’s first 1000 days of life shows this.

This means we need to provide equity of care: mothers should have the right to choose where they receive their birthing and postnatal care. Only Government can legislate to provide this basic right through a ring-fenced fund.

This will provide the equity of perinatal care across New Zealand critical to curbing the country’s shameful statistics in maternal suicide, postnatal depression and child abuse. Māori are overrepresented in these statistics.

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. We need this right to be recognised and include wraparound services that address the mental and physical health needs of mothers, their babies and whānau.

Women’s legal rights must be publicised and Government held to account to enable women to receive the services and support they need to protect and determine their own health and wellbeing. Our children’s futures depend on it.

It is past time for you to create policy needed to provide:

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.

Yours sincerely,