| Latest Health News | Monday March 19 2012 5:51
There are disappointing figures on the state of Maori and Pacific children's respiratory health.
It follows a series of reports by the New Zealand Child and Youth Epidemiology Service, commissioned by the Ministry of Health.
Associate Professor at the Otago University School of Medicine Jo Baxter says Maori and Pacific children are 23 times more likely to be admitted to hospital with rheumatic fever.
And she says they're more than five times more likely to be admitted to hospital with bronchiectasis, which is a cause for big concern.
"You would at least hope that things are not getting any worse, at least you would hope that they've been improving. So when we see something increasing in rate, it makes us start to wonder what's going on."
Ms Baxter says it highlights the need to address childhood poverty, and inequalities in unemployment and economic outcomes.