Hui aims to cut rates of Maori infants dying

4:18 pm on 27 August 2015

Alarmingly high rates of sudden unexpected death among Maori infants in the Wellington region have prompted community action.

Leading prevention specialists and Maori health practitioners are among more than 100 people who have gathered at Kokiri Marae in Petone.

In the four years between 2008 and 2012, 31 babies unexpectedly died in the Wellington region, of which 70 percent were Maori.

Doctor and SUDI prevention specialist David Tipene Leach told the seminar high smoking rates among pregnant Maori women and co-sleeping with babies were likely contributors.

He said it was important for the community to work together to reduce the rates of Maori babies dying.

Maori midwives and parents will also address the hui, which is expected to wrap up this afternoon.