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New research shows providing contraception is more complex today than it was a decade ago

Friday, July 30, 2021

Media Release

Te Whāriki Takapou and Family Planning New Zealand welcome new research exploring how contraceptive provision has changed among Family Planning clients over the past decade. Family Planning employees and the Chief Executive of Te Whāriki Takapou are among the authors of the research.

“This research shows that Family Planning clients are increasingly choosing to use a long acting reversible contraceptive (LARC),” said Dr Beth Messenger, Family Planning National Medical Advisor and lead author. “This has implications for how we provide contraception to New Zealanders. To achieve equitable reproductive health outcomes, it is essential there is equitable access to all available methods of contraceptives – including LARCs.”

The research shows that cost of the contraceptive is a barrier to use, but there are other differences in contraceptive starts by ethnicity and deprivation which cannot be explained by cost alone.


There is currently no consistent data reporting or analysis of contraceptive provision in primary care. In 2019, the Ministry of Health published the first national report on contraceptive use since 1999.

“This significant gap in knowledge about contraceptive provision means that current policy and funding decisions about contraception provided in primary care are not evidence-based and therefore cannot meaningfully improve equity of access,” said Dr Alison Green, Chief Executive of Te Whāriki Takapou.

The research was published in the New Zealand Medical Journal today. 

Read the research.


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