Qualification rates among school leavers continued to improve last year.
Ministry of Education statistics show more than 63,000 young people left school last year and 82% had at least level one of the NCEA. Some 42% had University Entrance.
However, Radio New Zealand's education correspondent says big gaps still exist between school leavers from poor and rich communities, boys and girls and between Maori and non-Maori.
The National Certificate of Education Achievement was introduced in 2002.