21 Jan 2015

Maori teenage birth rates dropping

6:58 am on 21 January 2015

Maori teenage birth rates are at a record low, a report from the Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit shows.

In 2013 the Maori teenage birth rate was 53 out of every 1000 births. That is down from 72 per 1000 15 years ago - a 34 percent fall.

Maori teenage birth rates remain higher than pakeha, but the gap is narrowing between the two roopu.

The research unit's chief executive, Clare Ward, said the falls in both groups were encouraging and the findings would now be passed on to policy makers.

She said the information can be used by the social sector to improve whanau services.

The study also found that three quarters of under-twenties giving birth were 18 and 19-year-olds, and that abortion rates have halved since 2007.