More students are leaving secondary school having at least gained NCEA Level 2, according to new Government figures.
The latest figures show nearly 77% of school leavers achieved the qualification last year - up from just over 74% the year before and 66.5% in 2008.
The biggest gains are amongst Pasifika students with 71.8% of students leaving with at least NCEA Level 2, up from 55.8% in 2008.
Nearly 59% of Maori students left school with at least NCEA level 2 last year - up from 44.4% in 2008.
"That's almost 1,000 more Maori and Pasifika students who now have better choices," Minister of Education Hekia Parata says.
Mrs Parata says the Government wants to see 85% of all 18-year-olds achieve NCEA Level 2 or an equivalent qualification in the next three years.