Maori literacy achievement must be boosted from early childhood and primary school level so the education system is not having to catch up all the time, the Government says.
It has released detailed breakdowns of the performances of all schools, including pre-schools.
Education Minister Hekia Parata says the results overall indicate the system serves most students well and that things are improving.
But she says achievement rates among Maori and Pasifika students continue to be lower at all levels of education.
On average, four out of five pupils are leaving school with the skills and qualifications they need but that leaves 20% who are not.
Ms Parata says too many of those students who fail are Maori and Pasifika, and it is important to fix that early in their schooling.
The data has convinced her that the $27 million the Government is investing to lift Maori and Pasifika success at early childhood and primary school level is the best place to start.