Cultural safety in nursing: the New Zealand experience

Int J Qual Health Care. 1996 Oct;8(5):491-7. doi: 10.1093/intqhc/8.5.491.


The concept of cultural safety arose from the colonial context of New Zealand society. In response to the poor health status of Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, and their insistence that service delivery change profoundly, nursing has begun a process of self examination and change in nursing education, prompted by Maori nurses. Nursing and midwifery organizations moved to support this initiative as something which spoke truly of nursing and New Zealand society. Cultural safety became a requirement for nursing and midwifery courses in 1992. But its introduction into nursing education has been controversial. It became highly publicized in the national media, and the role and function of the Nursing Council of New Zealand was questioned. This paper discusses the New Zealand experience of introducing cultural safety into nursing education.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Education, Nursing / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander*
  • New Zealand
  • Nurse Midwives / education
  • Public Opinion
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Transcultural Nursing / education*