The business case for a national roll-out of bowel cancer screening has been approved by Cabinet, says the Health Minister.
The long-awaited start date for national screening was announced in the Budget in May.
The government will spend $39 million over the next four years on a staged roll-out.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said approval of the business case confirmed screening would begin in Hutt Valley and Wairarapa next year, with other district health boards to follow later.
About 3000 New Zealanders are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year and more than 1200 die from it.
When compared to other OECD countries, in 2011 (the latest year for which figures were available for the comparison) New Zealand had the fifth highest rate of bowel cancer mortality.