50-74 screening: Māori and Pacific people
Lower starting age for Māori and Pacific people
In some parts of Aotearoa New Zealand, free bowel screening is available to Māori and Pacific people from the age of 50 to 74. In other parts of the country, the age for free bowel screening is 60 to 74 for everyone.
The starting age is lower because a higher proportion of bowel cancer occurs in Māori and Pacific people before reaching 60, compared with others. In time, it is planned that Māori and Pacific people throughout the country will have the lower starting age.
Districts offering free bowel screening from 50
You’ll receive an invite
- Māori and Pacific people in the districts above, aged between 50 and 59, will receive an invite through the mail to take part in free bowel screening. You might also receive your invite directly from a community health provider.
- Invitations will arrive around your birthday. People with a birth date that falls on an even number will be invited within the first 12 months of your area offering the lower age range. Those with a birth date that falls on an odd number will be invited in the second 12 months.
- For example, someone who is born on January 18 will get their invite in the first 12 months. Someone born on January 19 will get their invite in the second 12 months.
- Anyone who turns 50 will receive their invitation around the time of their birthday regardless of whether their birth date is odd or even.
You don’t have to do anything – the invite will be delivered to you and will be followed by a bowel screening test kit.
Once you start on the programme, a bowel screening test kit will be delivered to your home every two years while you are aged 50 to 74.
If you don’t receive an invite
If you are from a district that provides free bowel screening to Māori or Pacific people aged 50 to 74, but haven’t been invited, please call us on 0800 924 432.
People’s ethnicity is recorded in the National Health Index (NHI). The NHI is a unique number used by health services that has certain information about you including ethnicity. This information is securely stored. If your ethnicity isn’t recorded in the NHI, or is recorded incorrectly, you may not receive an invite. Please contact your GP to update your details.
The bowel screening programme is working to make sure everyone who is eligible for free bowel screening is invited.
Don’t delay, do it today!
The simple test can help find bowel cancer early, when it can often be successfully treated. Make sure you do the test as soon as possible and send it back.