The Ministry of Health and the Cancer Society of New Zealand support the WHO’s global goal of eliminating cervical cancer by 2030 in Aotearoa through HPV vaccination, HPV screening, and early treatment.
Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer. With HPV screening and vaccination and early treatment, Aotearoa NZ can eliminate cervical cancer.
The HPV vaccine is free in New Zealand for those between 9 and 26 years old and is available through school immunisation programmes as well as GPs, health centres and some family planning clinics. If children miss out in Year 8 at school, vaccination is still available free through GP services until the age of 27.
The HPV vaccine protects from 6 types of cancer, including cancers of the throat, cervix, vulva, penis and anus. It is safe, effective and long-lasting.
Aotearoa is currently at 67% vaccination coverage of children born in 2006, with Māori coverage only at 53%. We need to increase our HPV vaccination rates over 75% at least, to protect our tamariki from HPV-cancers in later life.
Cervical screening is offered every 3 years to anyone with a cervix aged 25 - 69 and detects early cell changes before they become cancerous.
In 2023, Aotearoa will replace cervical 'smear' testing with HPV screening. This is a more effective test that for most women is only needed every 5 years, and in some situations can be done at home using a long cotton swab.
NZ will not be offering HPV screening until 2023. It is important that people with a cervix aged between 25 - 69 years continue to have cervical screening tests when they are due and not wait for the new test.
NZ has a target of over 80% of people with a cervix (aged between 25-69) regularly screened. We are not meeting this target for Māori, Pacific and Asian people.
The WHO has downloadable resources you can use to support activities raising awareness of the campaign to End Cervical Cancer.
Get Informed. Get Screened. Get Vaccinated.