Education Minster Hekia Parata says new figures show more Maori and Pasifika students are achieving NCEA Level 2.
Results from last year show there is a 2% increase in Maori achievement, with 54% of 16-year-olds passing NCEA Level 2.
For Pasifika students there has been a 3.5% increase, with 52.5% passing.
Ms Parata said it was great news and a credit to the students as well as parents, teachers and the wider community.
She said Level 2, or an equivalent qualification, gave young people better opportunities for further education, employment, health outcomes and an improved quality of life.
The Government has set a target to have 85% of all 18-year-olds having achieved NCEA Level 2 by 2017.