26 August 2022
[FYI request #19853 email]
Tēnā koe Chris
Your Official Information Act request, reference H2022006994
Thank you for your email of 8 July 2022 requestng information relating to mortality data.
As part of the transformation of the health and disability system reforms, as of 1 July 2022 the functions
previously under the Ministry of Health's Data and Digital team have now transferred to Te Whatu Ora
Health New Zealand. As the matters you have raised now fal under the functions of Te Whatu Ora, our
agency will respond to your request which has been considered under the Official Information Act 1982
(the Act). You requested the fol owing:
“Please provide the top 20 causes of death across New Zealand for the fol owing years broken down
into months 2015 – 2022”
On 27 July 2022, we contacted you to clarify your request and advised that Te Whatu Ora holds death data
only up to 2018. To date, Te Whatu Ora has not received a response from you. For information relating to
death data up to 2018, please refer to appendix 1. Your request for death data between 2019 to 2022 is
refused under section 18(g)(i) of the Act, as the information requested is not held by Te Whatu Ora and
there are no grounds for believing it is held by another agency subject to the Act.
Te Whatu Ora has a Mortality Web Tool
that provides the most recent (2019) and the historical mortality
data dating back to 1948. This web tool is publicly available on the Ministry of Health’s
website at: www.health.govt.nz/publication/mortality-web-tool.
Please fol ow the link in the right-hand
corner of the page to open the web tool. For al other published mortality data and statistics, please refer
to the fol owing page: www.health.govt.nz/nz-health-statistics/health-statistics-and-data-sets/mortality-
For more recent data, there is approximately a 6–8-week lag between a death occurring and the fact of this
death being available from Te Whatu Ora data. The earliest fact of death information is available online
from the Stats NZ COVID 19 data portal at: www.stats.govt.nz/experimental/covid-19-data-portal.
also publish mortality statistics here: www.stats.govt.nz/tools/stats-infoshare.
To access this
information, select Populations
, and then Deaths
After the close of a calendar year, there is a 12–18-month process to assign cause of death codes to the
majority of deaths in that year. The Ministry’s clinical coding team reviews the death certificate and health
history of the deceased, to assign cause of death codes. Approximately ten percent of deaths are referred
to the Coroner each year to determine cause. Deaths which require a coronial inquiry can take 2-3 or more
years for cause of death to be assigned. The Ministry does not make mortality data available publicly until
the majority of deaths have been assigned a cause of death, to ensure that the data we release is complete
Te Whatu Ora publishes preliminary mortality statistics, which do not include injury-related deaths
information which are typically more influenced by coronial cases, in December each year. The 2020
preliminary data will be published in December 2022.
83 Molesworth Street, PO Box 5013
Welington New Zealand 6140
You are advised of your right to also raise any concerns with the Office of the Ombudsman.
Information about how to do this is available at: www.ombudsman.parliament.nz
or by phoning
0800 802 602.
Nāku iti noa, nā
Office of the Chief Data and Digital