Looking for information about your health? This has now moved to Te Whatu Ora Health Information and Services.

× Remove the announcement

WHO Code in New Zealand

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

Breastfeeding helps lay the foundations of a healthy life for a baby and also makes a positive contribution to the health and wider wellbeing of mothers and whānau/families. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended until babies are around 6 months.

New Zealand is a signatory to the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes (the International Code). We are committed to the International Code’s aims:

  • providing safe and adequate nutrition for infants by protecting and promoting breastfeeding
  • ensuring the proper use of breast milk substitutes, when these are necessary, on the basis of adequate information and through appropriate marketing and distribution.

Implementing the International Code in New Zealand

The WHO urges all Member States to take action to give effect to the International Code’s principles and aims, as appropriate to social and legislative frameworks. New Zealand implements the International Code through four Codes.

There is one global code (the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes) and four New Zealand codes. The New Zealand codes are the Inc Code of Practice for the Marketing of Infant Formula (for marketers conduct); the Code of Practice for Health Workers (for health worker conduct), the ASA Advertising Standards Code (for advertising of follow-on formula/toddler milk); and the Food Standards Code (for labelling, composition or quality concerns).

  1. The Infant Nutrition Council Code of Practice for the Marketing of Infant Formula in New Zealand (PDF, 282 KB)
  2. The Code of Practice for Health Workers
  3. The Advertising Standards Code, administered by the Advertising Standards Authority
  4. The Food Standards Code, administered by the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand

The INC Code of Practice, the Health Workers’ Code and the Advertising Standards Code are voluntary and self-regulatory. Compliance with the Food Standards Code is mandatory.

The Ministry of Health is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the INC Code of Practice and the Health Workers’ Code. We do this by receiving complaints about potential breaches of either Code of Practice.

You can make a complaint to the Ministry of Health about a:

  • health worker, health worker’s employer or health organisation if you think they have breached the Code of Practice for Health Workers
  • manufacturer or importer of infant formula that is a member of the Infant Nutrition Council if you think they have breached the INC Code of Practice.

More about New Zealand’s approach can be found in Implementing and Monitoring the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes in New Zealand: The Code in New Zealand.

Contact

If you have any questions or feedback on The Code in New Zealand you can email us at: [email protected]

In this section

Back to top