Papua New Guinea obstetrician Gunzee Gawin wants New Zealand to fund and train health workers to help the Pacific nation curb its high rate of mothers who die because of childbirth complications.
PNG has one of the highest rates of maternal death in the world .
Dr Gawin is in Wellington for the open hearing on maternal health in the Pacific being held by the parliamentary group on population and development.
He said the risk of a woman dying in childbirth in PNG was one in 20, compared with one in 10,000 in New Zealand.
"Three years in Australia I didn't see any single maternal death, I've been two years back home and I've already seen 15."
Dr Gawin gave an example of one hospital with an average of 40 deliveries a day and a daily staff of two or three midwives.
The high maternal death rate was due to a high fertility rate, low access to contraception, a high rate of teenage pregnancy, limited access to healthcare and male dominance, he said.
"Teenage pregnancies are very high and a huge proportion of the maternal deaths are teenagers, between 10 to 20, in trying to abort unwanted, unplanned pregnancies and are dying," Dr Gawin said.
Male dominance in making decisions was also a problem, he said.
"A lot of the times, the woman wants to go to the hospital and the man says no and they stay home and then complications arise and the wife dies and the husband lives, it's quite unfair."
The number of midwives and doctors trained to deal with childbirth in PNG was "very, very low", Dr Gawin said.
"We have the facilities there but it's not manned."
Another problem is many people cannot afford to travel to hospital, or do not know to go, he said.
Dr Gawin wanted New Zealand to help PNG train and retain midwives and doctors. That could include a stint working or training in New Zealand and higher salaries at home.
"We have this problem where we train people and they are so qualified to go and work in Australia or New Zealand that they leave, or some go to the private sector because its more lucrative."
A midwife in PNG earned about $150 a fortnight. Dr Gawin said. It was not much for "a lot of work" and it was obvious why many moved overseas.
National MP Jackie Blue, who is chairwoman of the New Zealand Parliamentarians' Group on Population and Development, said there was an urgent need for improved family planning and healthcare access in PNG.
"Lots of teen pregnancies and being pregnant as a teenager in PNG is clearly not good ... girls up to the age of 14 are five times more likely to die in childbirth, between 15 and 19 it's twice as likely."
Like any health system, the workforce was the most important aspect, she said.
Problems of retaining staff, particularly in remote areas, was also an issue in New Zealand.
Asked how the Government would help PNG overcome a problem it had not solved at home, , Dr Blue said people had suggested various solutions.
Higher wages and rotating staff throughout the country were two of those.
The parliamentary group will also hear from the UN, the Pacific Society for Reproductive Health, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, World Vision and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
After hearing all submissions the group will make a recommendation to the Government.