A survey by the Ministry of Education shows men are better at maths than women.
It also shows people who use computers are likely to have higher levels of literacy and numeracy than those who do not.
The adult literacy and life skills survey shows education and speaking English as a first language are associated with higher levels of literacy and numeracy.
But a new finding links higher achievement with using a computer at work and at home.
Radio New Zealand's education correspondent says adults who do that are significantly more likely to have higher achievement than those who use a computer only at home or at work, or not at all.
Work computer use is associated with jobs requiring high literacy and numeracy, and home use with personal literacy activity.
The research also found more men than women have good numeracy.
Nationally, more than half of the participants in the survey showed high levels of literacy.
But in Wellington and the North Shore and Rodney regions, the figure was more than two-thirds.
Counties-Manukau performed the worst in both measures.