New NZBA head to target NZ’s low breastfeeding rates


New Zealand has the opportunity to lead developed nations in a resurgence in breastfeeding rates and their associated public health outcomes, the newly appointed head of the New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance (NZBA) said today.
Jane Cartwright has been appointed Executive Officer of the New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance and has substantial governance and operational experience. She has held senior roles in the health sector and local government where she led developments in community, mental and public health.
She was also instrumental in setting up and helping lead the Canterbury Clinical Network.
Firmly in her sights are workplaces and larger retail outlets – two sectors which need to continue to both encourage and consider the needs of breastfeeding mothers.
“We’ve seen facilities set up and comfortable clean places for people to breastfeed. We need executive leadership to support women who have to feed their babies, whether shoppers or workers.
“This also extends to other parts of the community and places public gather. I have specifically asked for data on breastfeeding rates for both tangata whenua and other groups to understand what barriers exist on the numbers of those breastfeeding and on the length of time they are able to do so.”
Recently the World Health Organisation’s called for increased measures to ensure mothers receive correct marketing information regarding infant formula as a breastfeeding substitute.
“I appreciate that not all women are able to breastfeed but for those that do, I would also like to ascertain numbers around the use of milk substitutes and to urge the remaining New Zealand infant formula companies who haven’t signed up to the industry’s voluntary Code of Practice to do so,” she said.
In addition to the NZBA role, Ms Cartwright is Chair of the Brackenridge Estate Ltd Board, as well as holding board positions on the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, Nurse Maude Association, and both the Ara Institute of Canterbury Council and Ara Foundation. She is also a Chartered Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and an Associate Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management and Leadership.
A registered Dietitian, Ms Cartwright holds a Bachelor of Science, a Post Graduate Diploma in Science (Human Nutrition) and an MBA from the University of Otago.