A Tongan health researcher says more awareness on contraceptives needs to be raised among Tongan women in New Zealand.
Pauline Fakalata recently completed a study exploring why the fertility rate of Tongan women remains high in New Zealand despite the country's total fertility rate falling to a point below what's needed to sustain its current population.
Ms Fakalata said that despite the high fertility rate of Tongan women in the country, the majority of those who took part in the study wanted to use birth control but were not actively doing so.
She said cultural expectations, religious beliefs and misconceptions about contraceptives were among the reasons why many women were not using them.
"I think it would be good to target and have some education programs, specifically targeting pacific young people. From a health professional perspective, we would say, you know we really need to get the message out there for young pacific women to use contraception," Pauline Fakalata said.