The national bowel screening roll-out will start with Hutt Valley and Wairarapa district health boards next year, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has announced.
He says Cabinet has approved the business case for the roll-out, which has a $39 million allocation from this year's budget.
About 3000 New Zealanders are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year, and it's the second most common cause of cancer death.
"We know that screening saves lives by detecting cancers at an early stage," Dr Coleman said.
"Once fully implemented, the national bowel screening programme is likely to screen over 700,000 people aged between 60 and 74 every two years."
More than 80 percent of cancers found through a Waitemata DHB pilot programme were in people aged 60 to 74.