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New Zealand Mortality Collection

Series type 
Vital registration
Time period 
1970 - present

The Mortality Collection (MORT) database contains underlying cause of death data for all registered deaths and stillbirths in New Zealand. This system is managed by the Ministry of Health.

Each month, the Ministry of Health receives death registration data from the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry (BDM). These data commonly come from three sources: death certificates completed by doctors and coroners, post-mortem reports, and death registration forms, often filled out by funeral directors. The Ministry of Health also collects cause of death data from other sources, including electronic hospital discharge data from the National Minimum Dataset (NMDS), private hospital discharge data, the New Zealand Cancer Registry (NZCR), and police records. Starting in 1996, BDM began to recognize self-identified ethnicities for all forms of vital registration, allowing for more detailed analysis of mortality trends among Maoris and non-Maoris.

Deaths data dating back to 1970 are available from the Mortality Collection database upon request. Data before 2000 was coded to ICD-9, whereas subsequent data was mapped to ICD-10. The Ministry of Health provides associated reports and tables on its Mortality and Demographic Data series page.


  1. Ministry of Health (New Zealand). Mortality Collection Data Dictionary, Version 1.3. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Health (New Zealand), 2009.
  2. Ministry of Health (New Zealand). Mortality and Demographic Data 2011. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Health (New Zealand), 2014. 

New Zealand Mortality Collection Dataset Records

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