For the first time, more than 30,000 people have died in a calendar year in New Zealand.
Figures issued by Statistics New Zealand show there were 30,080 deaths in the year to December - an increase of 6% from the previous year.
Population statistics manager Andrea Blackburn says the increase is not unexpected. The number per year is gradually increasing due to the growth in older age groups.
Statistics NZ says deaths are expected to surpass 40,000 in the year 2029 and 50,000 in 2042.