Midwives in New Zealand have been practising independently of medicine and nursing since 1990 using the concept of partnership as a basis for their practice. This article shows, however, that the beliefs which underpin the practice of the midwives are not always the same as those of their clients. Supporting evidence is provided in the form of verbatim data provided by participants. Three major areas in which contradictions were found were in the work of midwives, the knowledge for practice and reflections on the experience. It is recommended that midwives become more visible by removing themselves from hegemonic structures, valuing alternative forms of knowledge and respecting the knowledge of their clients.