Published Friday 1 Sep 2023

Nō Te Tai Tokerau, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga hoki ia.

As Māori Project Coordinator Bowel Screening, Alana supports eligible whānau Māori to participate in the National Bowel Screening Programme.

Bowel cancer is one of Aotearoa’s most common cancers and second highest cause of death by cancer. Early detection is important and bowel screen testing aims to save lives by finding bowel cancer at an early stage, when it can most often be treated

What is your career background?

Before working in the Māori health team at Capital Coast I supported the Child Development Service here as Team Assistant, supporting the clinicians and the tamariki of our service. Prior to that, I studied and worked in fashion design.

What do you enjoy about your role?

On the small-wins scale it would be the “ah-huh” moment when I show someone how to do their test and they realise how easy it is. I hope that “ah-huh” moment leads them to going home and completing their test, or enables them to support people in their whānau to participate.

On a bigger scale, I love the whanaungatanga aspect of working in Māori health. It’s really important to grow a strong kumara vine of relationships with people, and in health, we know our patients receive better care when this aspect is included within our practice.

What do people need to know about bowel screening?

It’s a free, at-home test and is simple to do. Every two years from ages 60-74, you are automatically sent a test in the post.

If you are eligible to take part, you will be sent:

  • an invitation letter
  • a consent form
  • a free bowel screening test kit, with instructions on how to use it.

Find out more at Doing the test, including videos in 11 different languages.

If you are reading this thinking “I think I’m due my test” please Freephone 0800 924 43 or email the team at to order a new kit.

For more info on the bowel screening programme, how-to videos and more visit