Maternity deaths have dropped dramatically for the first time since 2006 but the newborn baby death rate remains unchanged.
Twelve years ago about one mother died for every 5500 births, but the latest available figures for 2016 show that has halved to one death for every 10,600 births.
But newborn babies are dying at the same rate they did twelve years ago, and a leading specialist says more must be done to reduce the numbers.
Sue Belgrave, who chairs the commission that reviews deaths around childbirth, said each one is a tragedy.
She said the majority of the deaths are babies who are born 20 weeks premature - and that mothers aged under 20, or who are Māori, Pasifika or Indian, have a higher risk of this happening to their baby.
Dr Belgrave said suicide is the leading cause of maternal death, and Māori women are over-represented in that group.
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