New research shows the number of Māori and Pacific children who develop type-two diabetes is on the rise.
The Auckland study focused on children under 15 from Starship Paediatric Diabetes Service over the past 21 years. It found Māori and Pacific Island children are up to 18 times more likely to be diagnosed with the disease than European children.
Within a 10-year period, an average of 3.6 out of 100,000 Pacific Island children, and 3.3 out of every 100,000 Māori children, had the condition.
In European children, 0.2 in every 100,000 had the condition.
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Doctor Craig Jefferies says it's not necessarily the most overweight kids who have the disease.
"They are relatively overweight but they're coming from these families with a high-risk of type-two diabetes.
"These are the kids, especially the type two, that need to prevent being overweight or obese and need to get fit and active.
"And some of them will still present with diabetes... they've got a very high-risk gene pool for it."
Dr Jefferies says the first childhood cases of type-two diabetes were discovered here in the 1990s.
"If you're ever worried about diabetes, you've got the classic symptoms or you've got any concerns go get a diabetes check - earlier than later."
The increase rate for both type one and two diabetes is similar.