NZBA's role in BFHI

The New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance (NZBA) is the national authority for the implementation of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in New Zealand. The NZBA is a broad-based coalition of professional and consumer organisations which provides information, training, support and assessment of maternity facilities and health services working to implement best practice in relation to breastfeeding.

In New Zealand, the BFHI assessment of maternity facilities is carried out based on the World Health Organisation WHO/UNICEF Global Hospital Assessment Criteria, adapted for application in New Zealand.

Amendments and clarifications to the accreditation documents have been made to recognise the uniqueness of the New Zealand health system and to encourage consistent evidence-based culturally appropriate practice at all health care facilities, where initiation of breastfeeding occurs. The accreditation documents recognise:

  • The Treaty of Waitangi principles of protection, participation and partnership as an integral part of BFHI in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • New Zealand has a unique system where women choose their Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) for their antenatal, birth and post-natal care. The auditing tool was developed to assess the facility and staff employed by the facility. Self-employed LMCs utilising hospital facilities also have a key role in practising in-line with BFHI principles and promoting these in the community
  • Informed consent is an important part of the BFHI process with consultation with community service providers and consumers having been encouraged

Kia U Ki Te Pai

As a mother's milk provides nourishment

Let us embrace all that is good

The Treaty of Waitangi

The New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance (NZBA) is committed to the Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi through:

  • Partnership by working with whanau, hapu and iwi to develop appropriate policies and procedures that will improve breastfeeding rates and services in New Zealand
  • Participation by involving Maori in decision making, planning, development and implementation of Baby Friendly Initiatives (BFI)
  • Protection by working in a manner that will protect and preserve Maori traditional breastfeeding practices

Maternity services that meet all criteria are designated Baby Friendly. This prestigious award is a globally recognised quality standard that both parents and health services can use to compare the service provided by the designated facility with that of others.

The New Zealand Ministry of Health requires all maternity facilities in New Zealand to attain and maintain Baby Friendly Hospital Accreditation.

Resolution Procedure 

For a copy of NZBA's Resolution Procedure, please email