New Year's Day babies will live to see next century - Unicef

New Year's Day babies will live to see next century - Unicef
Photo credit: Getty / File

Most Kiwi babies born on New Year's Day will live to see the next century, Unicef New Zealand says.

They'll watch 21 Rugby World Cups and honour the 260th anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi, all before 2100 - which is only 82 years away.

That's possible thanks to the country's health and education services giving Kiwis longer life spans than previous generations, Unicef NZ executive director Vivien Maidaborn says.

"Babies born in New Zealand have access to high levels of care, education and medical assistance, which is reflected in their long life spans."

About 170 New Zealand women will give birth on New Year's Day, accounting for just 0.044 percent of the estimated 385,793 globally to bear children born on the first day of 2018.

Within the past two decades, the number of children who die before their fifth birthday worldwide has more than halved to 5.6 million.

"We are now entering the era when all the world's newborns should have the opportunity to see the 22nd century," Ms Maidaborn says.

Unicef's New Year's resolution is to help children across the world live as long as New Zealanders.

"We want to see all babies living the same long and happy lives as babies born in New Zealand and other developed countries," Ms Maidaborn says.

"We want to see governments and partners join the fight to save millions of children's lives by providing proven, low-cost solutions."