The number of school leavers with NCEA level 2 has continued to rise.
The Government says 74% of the young people who left school last year had the qualification, an increase of two percentage points since 2011.
Although the figure is encouraging, there are still big gaps between different ethnicities.
Some 87% of Asian school leavers had NCEA level 2, compared with 54.6% of Maori school leavers and 64.8% of Pasifica teenagers. Last year, 79.6% of Pakeha school leavers had the qualification.
Gisborne had the fewest school leavers with level 2, at 67%, followed by Northland with 68.5%.
Nelson had the most school leavers with level two at 80%, followed by Otago with 79%.
The Government has set a goal of 85% of 18-year-olds achieving level 2 by 2017.