Bowel screening

The National Bowel Screening Programme is a free programme to help detect bowel cancer.

It is being offered every two years to people aged 60 to 74 years who are eligible for publicly funded health care. Information on who is eligible for publicly funded health services is available on Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand’s website or by phoning 0800 924 432 or email

If you are eligible to take part, you will be sent:

  • an invitation letter

  • a consent form

  • a free bowel screening test kit, with instructions on how to use it.

The test can be done at home and is simple to do. Find out more at Doing the test.

Find out more at Bowel screening | Time to Screen - National Screening Unit.

Breast Screening

Free breast screening for eligible women aged 45 to 69 years is provided by the national breast screening programme, BreastScreen Aotearoa.


  • The aim of breast screening is to find very small cancers before a lump can be felt in the breast. Early treatment has the best chance of success.

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in New Zealand women.

  • The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age.

  • Three-quarters of women who get it are over 50. Breast cancer is uncommon in women under 50.

  • For older women, breast screening using mammography (breast x-rays) followed by appropriate treatment is the best way of reducing the chance of dying from breast cancer.

If you live in Otago, your Breast Screening provider is BreastScreen HealthCare; Dunedin Hospital, Ground Floor, Corner Fredrick and Cumberland Streets, Dunedin 

If you live in Southland, your Breast Screening provider is BreastScreen HealthCare; Southland Hospital, Kew Road, Invercargill

To contact BreastScreen HealthCare Phone: 0800 270 200

The mobile breast screen unit visits rural towns regularly. The timetable of visits is regularly updated.

HPV Cervical Screening

Māori women between the ages of 25 and 44 are three times more likely to die from cervical cancer than Pākehā women in the same age group. It's similar for Pasifika women. From September, a new cervical screening programme will help change those statistics. The self-swab test will make it easier for patients to do the check themselves when at their healthcare provider.

For many people it will replace a smear. And as a result, most people will now only need to screen every five years.

Find out more at Cervical screening | Time to Screen - National Screening Unit or contact your healthcare provider to book in. Search for Pacific community Healthcare providers and Māori community healthcare providers