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Cot death rate `too high': Minister

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/04/2016

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has acknowledged that the cot death rate in New Zealand is too high.

A seminar in parliament was told on Thursday that Maori babies make up more than 60 per cent of cot deaths in New Zealand and health agencies aren't reaching families that need help the most.

Green Party MP Marama Davidson hosted the seminar where a report by the Whakawhetu SUDI (sudden unexpected death in infancy) Prevention organisation was launched.

Ms Davidson says it shows Maori aren't receiving the post-natal support they need.

"We know that parental post-natal support is critical to reducing cot death rates," she said.

"Maori parents are not getting the wraparound government support they desperately need."

Dr Coleman told reporters the cot death rate was "still way too high".

"But if you look at what has happened over the last few years, cot death numbers have come down, including for Maori children," he said.

"But we have still got to improve those figures."

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