In a bid to reduce the number of babies suffocating in bed with their parents, the government is to fund pēpi pods, which allow for safe bed sharing.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has announced plastic pēpi pods would be rolled out nationally but could not confirm whether wahakura would be too.

Between 40 and 50 babies die each year in New Zealand from Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI).

Māori babies make up 60 percent of SUDI deaths.

Eastern Institute of Technology professor David Tipene Leach, a leading Māori specialist on SUDI prevention, said wahakura must be funded.

"Those who are most at risk are ... the ones who are going to require the most Māori approach with a safe sleeping space," he said.

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