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Preface

New Zealand Life Tables: 2005–07 contains the latest period life tables for the Māori, non-Māori, and total New Zealand populations. These complete period life tables are based on the mortality experience for the three-year period 2005–07, and provide standard measures for monitoring changes in mortality and survivorship patterns and the progress in prolonging life.

The report includes several other topics of interest. These include analysis of causes of death, summary information on the longevity and mortality experience of different subnational areas of New Zealand, and explanation of the methods of deriving these life tables. The report also consolidates earlier life table results.

Users should note three important aspects. First, the introduction of new birth and death registration forms in 1995 caused a significant discontinuity in historical ethnic birth and death statistics. However, the new forms have considerably improved the general quality of ethnic-specific data. Second, comparisons of Māori and non-Māori life tables over time and with each other should be interpreted with caution, because of changes in ethnic concept and data sources. Before 1995–97, Māori life expectancy is likely to be over-estimated and non-Māori life expectancy is likely to be under-estimated, because of under-registration of Māori deaths relative to the Māori population. Third, a brief section on cohort life tables has been included. Cohort life tables track the mortality experience of people born in each year from 1876. These complement the period life tables, which show the mortality experience in a specific time period.

This report was prepared by Simon Pang, under the guidance of Kim Dunstan, with assistance from Rino Adair, Alan Ambury, Paul Warren and John Bryant.

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