Save the Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre

Petition Closed

Save the Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre

This petition had 6,028 supporters

Hutt Families for Midwives started this petition to Minister of Health and

About the Birthing Centre

The Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre in Lower Hutt is a purpose-built primary birthing facility. It opened just 3 years ago and to-date has been funded through the Wright Family Foundation (no DHB nor Ministry of Health funding).

They recently announced the Birthing Centre will likely close at the end of September. A final decision on the closure will be made on August 24.

What the closure will mean for whānau in the Hutt and beyond

Many of us women and whānau are saddened and angry with the news of its likely closure. This Birthing Centre provides a welcoming alternative to the Hutt hospital maternity service and home birth.

Ultimately, this closure impacts on women's choice of birthing facilities. For many women in the Hutt and beyond, a hospital setting does not meet their needs or prefer to birth in a more holistic non-intervention setting.

Other reasons for saving the Birthing Centre include:

  • Freeing-up space and time in hospital for women who do need or choose to birth in a hospital setting with specialist care
  • A primary birth facility is cheaper for the health system due to the lower rate of intervention
  • The Birthing Centre provides nurturing post-natal care, allowing time to establish breastfeeding and recover from birth, often in contrast to hospital where women have to leave before they are ready
  • This setting enables many women to have a positive birth experience, which is well-known as important for positive maternal mental health outcomes, and long-term health benefits for mother and baby
  • Closure will have a ripple effect on voluntary organisations that operate out of the centre
  • Midwives enjoy working in a birthing centre, which is important to support midwives retention at a time of dwindling numbers of lead maternity carers.

What we are asking for

As Ministers, Associate Ministers, DHB Chief Executive and DHB Board members, we are asking you to urgently provide funding to save the Birthing Centre from closing.

This petition

This petition is community-led, bringing together whānau. We know there are other similar petitions (e.g. by Chris Bishop), which we also support, but feel it is important to have a petition by the Hutt community not attached to a political party.

The petition will be open for only 1 week, until Sunday 22 August, in order to present it before the final decision on the Birthing Centre is made on 24 August.

A comprehensive evidence paper for a publicly-funded birthing centre will be presented alongside the signatures to this petition.

Our community strongly opposes the closure of Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre.

Petition Closed

This petition had 6,028 supporters