Annual specific rates for acute rheumatic fever (ARF) in Auckland children less than 15 years were 22/100,000 for the years 1980 to 1984. From 1984 to 1992 the rates remained relatively constant with an average of 45 (range, 30 to 70) children annually admitted with ARF to the Auckland Children's Hospital. This study examined retrospectively Group A streptococci identified from hospitalized pediatric patients during these 9 years. The total of 2410 isolates included 32 isolates from well-documented cases of ARF and an additional 6 from siblings of cases. Results of M typing indicated that streptococci associated with ARF are generally different from those described overseas and involved types which cause more skin than throat infections in the community.