National Contraception Guidelines Project Update

on 17 March

Tena koutou,

You are receiving this email because you/your organisation has provided support to the development of National Contraception Guidelines, currently underway. You may have spoken directly to our project team, responded to a survey, or simply helped link us up with the right people and organisations – thank you! The following update provides a short summary of key findings to date and outlines the team’s next steps. You are welcome to pass on to interested individuals or organisations. 

As you know, the Ministry of Health is seeking to build the quality and consistency of contraception services in New Zealand by developing national guidelines on contraception, which will be complemented by the development and implementation of national training (undertaken by New Zealand Family Planning). The Ministry has contracted Allen + Clarke to develop these guidelines. To inform the guidelines, Allen + Clarke has recently completed initial research (national stocktake of resources; contraception survey; stakeholder interviews) to understand the existing contraception resources landscape in New Zealand. We engaged with over 600 health practitioners, policy leads and funding managers from around New Zealand  to understand where our efforts will be best placed in terms of developing a national resource.Some of our key findings to date include:

  • We found that health practitioners already know about, like and use a considerable body of guidelines, guidance and resources about contraception counselling and methods.
  • We also found there is some inconsistency in practice and that New Zealand would benefit from national guidance across a range of issues. Most stakeholders agreed that the development of national guidance (in some form) was an acceptable approach to managing the current inconsistencies in care.
  • A consistent message from stakeholders was that any resources developed needed to be concise and accessible, preferably for use during a 15minute consultation window, and written with a broad range of relevant health practitioner groups in mind (midwives, general practitioners, nurses, specialists etc).
  • Stakeholders raised a range of clinical issues, inconsistencies and queries that could benefit from national consensus and guidance. Issues related to areas such as postpartum contraception, method-specific queries, and questions around specific population groups such as transgender people and perimenopausal women. 
  • Almost all stakeholders agreed that having a resource to guide the contraception options conversation would be beneficial.
  • Stakeholders agreed that cultural and religious beliefs should be respected and considered during contraception consultations and that health practitioners should be supported to increase their awareness of common beliefs about contraception, menstruation, sex and the body. This was especially relevant given the high proportion of Pākehā or overseas trained health practitioners practising in New Zealand.

With the above findings on board, the project team is seeking to progress with the development of national guidance in some form, including the development of evidence-based national recommendations. We look forward to sharing these with you in due course.

Thank you again for taking the time to work with our team, it has been contributions such as yours that has allowed our team to progress with developing a product that will serve New Zealand’s health practitioner’s in a useful, valuable and welcome way.

Nga mihi nui,



Joanna Clarke


Ph. +64 21 190 2302

PO Box 10730, Wellington 6143

Level 2, The Woolstore, 262 Thorndon Quay,

Pipitea, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

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