Aims: To examine whether the high proportion of Polynesian women giving birth at Middlemore Hospital contributes to its low interventional delivery rate.
Methods: A study of a one-year cohort of women delivering at Middlemore Hospital. Delivery suite records were scrutinised to determine ethnicity and mode of delivery. Statistical comparisons were made.
Results: In Maori, Pacific Island and European women the caesarean section rates were 6.5%, 9.5% and 11.5% respectively. Maori women have a significantly lower rate of caesarean section than Pacific Island women and both groups have a significantly lower rate than European women. The spontaneous vaginal delivery rates in Maori, Pacific Island and European women were 89.0%, 87.4% and 74.8% respectively.
Conclusion: The high proportion New Zealand Maori and Pacific Island women contributes to, but does not fully explain, the low interventional delivery rate at Middlemore Hospital.