The importance of NCEA level 1

as a year 11 student doing NCEA, how important are my year 11 results for getting into universities like cambridge? I know they aren’t focused on by NZ universities but i have noticed that scholarships like the Peter Windle scholarship require a record of year 12 AND year 11 results? For example I want to take english or something similar, will getting a few merits and an achieved in subjects not relevant to my preferred course (like maths) count against me?