Breast and cervical screening event

Jewel Tipene from Huria Trust, WBOP PHO Support to Screen Programme Lead Joanne Tuhakaraina and Te Aihe Toma from Ngāti Ranginui Mauri. Photo. Supplied.

A three-day event in Bethlehem is encouraging women to undergo their overdue breast and cervical screening.

Women aged between 25 and 69 should have regular cervical smear tests and women aged between 45 and 69 years should have a mammogram every two years.

Wāhine (women) can earn points for their marae as part of the 2021 Tauranga Moana Tauranga Tangāta Festival this month by organising their overdue screening with the Western Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation.

This year’s event is scheduled for Friday, March 12, to Sunday, March 14, and is being hosted by Ngāti Hangarau in Bethlehem.

The three-day event is held every two years and is attended by thousands of people affiliated to Tauranga Moana iwi. Marae, hapū and iwi compete for points in a variety of activities, including kapa haka and sport, for bragging rights.

Wāhine who have breast and/or cervical screening earn 30 points per screening. More than 50 wāhine took the opportunity to screen and earn points for their marae at the 2018 festival.

The PHO has enlisted the help of local hapū to spread the word. Huria Trust is organising a group to have their breast screening together, and a cervical screening session in their clinic.

Spokesperson Jewel Tipene says the PHO’s strong connections and collaboration with kaupapa Māori health providers such as Huria Trust mean there is a natural progression to work together on these initiatives.

“Even if just one more wāhine is safe as a result of this programme, it’s really worthwhile,” says Jewel.

Ngāti Ranginui Mauri Ora is also running a physical challenge in the lead-up to the festival. Held over six weeks, Hikoi Kori Tinana Wero Twenty21 sees participants encouraged to complete a 3.5km walk or run in one of seven locations, as well as complete a new exercise each week and upload a photo to social media.

To sign up for breast and/or cervical screening contact Joanne Tuhakaraina, phone 027 585 8656, email

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