In the five years from 2000 and 2004, the annual number of students granted an early leaving exemption from schools in Tauranga District fluctuated from 78 to 125. Over the five years, more than seven in every 10 early leaving exemptions (72%) were granted so the student could enrol in a training provider course. Another 17% were granted so the student could go into full-time employment, and in the remaining 11% of cases the student enrolled in a polytechnic course.
Between 2000 and 2003, slightly more Tauranga students left school and went straight into tertiary education and training than the national average. In 2003, the figure was 65%. However, these students made slightly different choices from their counterparts elsewhere. Nationally, between 2000 and 2003, students were most likely to attend university (44%), followed by polytechnics (33%) and private training establishments (PTEs) (19%). For Tauranga school leavers, polytechnics were the most popular destinations (47%), with 76% of those enrolling at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic. Thirty-five percent of the Tauranga school leavers going on to tertiary education enrolled at universities and 15% at PTEs. Three percent enrolled at wananga, the same proportion as nationally, and 1% at colleges of education.
Between 2000 and 2004, there were 6,650 live births to women living in Tauranga, an average of 1,330 per year. The largest proportion (31%) of women having babies in Tauranga were aged 30-34 years, reflecting the national pattern. However, slightly more women under 30 years had babies than the national average.
In 2004, the society provided services to 1,303 babies in Tauranga, representing 92% of the district’s total live births. Twenty-nine percent of Tauranga newborns were Maori, and just 1% were of Pacific ethnicity. Eight percent lived in decile 10 areas (the most socio-economically deprived) and 22% in deciles 8 or 9 areas.
In 2004, Plunket made 495 referrals to other agencies in Tauranga. Reasons for referral included the need for parenting courses (19% of all referrals), child health and illness (15%), development, vision and dental health (all 7%), and immunisation, hips and suspected hearing loss/impairment (all 6%).
Plunket assessed that in 2004, 71% of Tauranga children were fully immunised, lower than the 79% national figure. Another 21% had been incompletely immunised (15% nationally).