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Whāngai Ora Milk Bank
(working within 50 kms of Te Papaioea/Palmerston North)


For the first 6 months of life, the most suitable food for a baby is breast milk alone.   

A mother's own milk, even in the tiniest quantities, is amazing for her baby, since it is full of concentrated antibodies, stem cells and growth factors, as well as providing food. 


Some mothers may need help getting started with breastfeeding, and then other milks may be suggested.  The preferred option is human milk from donor mothers, while the mother works on increasing her supply as far as possible.  Premature babies especially need human milk for the immune protection and growth factors.  The World Health Organisation recommends the use of donor human milk as the feeding of choice, if mother’s own milk is insufficient or unavailable.


Whāngai Ora Milk Bank was established to collect and distribute safe donor milk for a limited period to babies in medical need.   The milk is screened, pasteurised and tested to make it the safest of all alternatives to a mother's own milk for the pēpi of our district.   While all babies deserve breast milk, we are a small charity run by volunteers and we do not have the capacity to supply outside Manawatu, Horowhenua or Tararua.


How to be Involved

Our Donors are the bedrock of our organisation

If you have milk to share with vulnerable babies, please get in touch with us!

We do have some screening questions to ensure you are a good fit as a donor, and all donors must be blood tested. These blood tests do not cost our donors anything.

The donor milk is for the pēpi  who had or are receiving care, within the MidCentral district (Palmerston North and surrounds, Tararua and Horowhenua).


Donor Milk is FREE for the recipients, but it costs a great deal to process it safely.

IYour midwife, lactation consultant, GP or Well Child Provider will make contact with us for you.

When our supplies are low, we use a triage system for allocating milk to ensure that those pēpi most in need are served first.


We rely on the support and sponsorship from businesses and the wider community. 


If you'd like to become a

Friend of Whāngai Ora Milk Bank please contact us.



We are a community organisation that relies on volunteers to run effectively for our pēpi & their whānau.

If you have time, passion, or experience to share, please get in touch to see if we have a volunteer role right for you.

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