WHO Code in NZ

Te riunga ora mō ngā mokopuna – the safe pathways to children’s wellbeing

The International Code aims to contribute to providing safe and adequate nutrition for infants by protecting and promoting breastfeeding. It also aims to ensure the proper use of breast milk substitutes, when these are necessary, on the basis of adequate information and through appropriate marketing and distribution. New Zealand is a signatory of the International Code, so is committed to working towards meeting its aims.

Breastfeeding is key

Breastfeeding is key to providing the best start for New Zealand infants, and important for both infant and maternal health. The overall Ministry of Health objectives are to increase the prevalence and duration of breastfeeding for all infants. All efforts made to promote and protect breastfeeding practices in New Zealand will contribute to reducing inequalities in health between Māori and non-Māori and between Pacific and non-Pacific peoples, in the short and long term.

The Code in New Zealand

Following a review of New Zealand’s interpretation of the International Code (Ministry of Health 2004a), the Ministry has prepared a single, standard reference document – Implementing and Monitoring the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes in New Zealand: The Code in New Zealand.

This document includes the Code of Practice for Health Workers in New Zealand and the Infant Nutrition Council Code of Practice for the Marketing of Infant Formula. It will ensure the International Code is more accessible, more effectively used and more easily monitored in New Zealand. It will also ensure that it’s spirit and intent become the guiding principles for all parties concerned with infant nutrition and the health and wellbeing of New Zealand families.

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