New and future developments

High quality and accessible screening and achieving equity in health/whanau ora for all people are central to the NSU's vision for the National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP).

Accordingly, a key priority of the Programme continues to be not only increasing the programme's coverage for all women, but achieving equity in access to cervical screening across all population groups. As reflected in the Ministry of Health's Statement of Intent for 2009-2012, work will continue to focus on reducing the disproportionate number of Māori women developing and/or dying from cervical cancers.

Recent years have also seen significant developments in cervical cancer prevention. The advent of the cervical cancer vaccine as a primary prevention strategy, as well as new technologies in cytology and high-risk human papillomavirus detection are changing the face of cervical screening - improving efficiency and effectiveness as well as our ability to categorise each woman's risk. The programme will continue to refine existing services as well as adapt to incorporate the benefits of newer technologies to improve cost-effectiveness and further reduce the burden of cervical cancer for New Zealand women.

The following represents the vision for the National Cervical Screening Programme:

By 2014:

Further improve health outcomes

The NCSP will aim to:

  • demonstrate a decrease in the incidence of cervical cancer by at least 70% compared to 1990
  • demonstrate a decrease in cervical cancer mortality by 80% compared  to 1990
Achieve coverage targets
  • have increased coverage to at least 80% of all population groups
Achieve equity
  • have no significant variation in coverage between population groups
Strengthen collaborative relationships
  • have strengthened regional coordination between NCSP providers
Effective performance management

The NCSP will continue to:


  • comprehensively monitor and evaluate the programme and to update and streamline these processes
  • have regularly reviewed standards for providers of NCSP services
  • have comprehensive, regularly updated clinical management guidelines
Continuously improve quality/value for money

The NCSP will:


  • be using liquid based cytology for 100% of cervical screening tests
  • be using HPV testing as an appropriate adjunctive test
  • have supported laboratories to automate their testing process
  • have a highly developed and effective NCSP-Register acting as a key monitoring tool for NCSP, providers and women
  • have further developed its highly skilled and specialised workforce
  • support  external reviews of the NCSP and implement recommendations
  • have reviewed the effects of HPV vaccination on cervical screening and implemented changes required
  • have an age range and screening interval updated to reflect the latest evidence, the new HPV vaccination and HPV testing era
  • be operating a robust research and development programme.


Page last updated: 03 December 2014