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Papatūānuku watches over the whenua

A new mobile BreastScreen Aotearoa unit, inspired by Papatūānuku, will make breast screening more accessible for the 70,820 women aged between 45 and 69 in our area.

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Papatūānuku is the kaitiaki encouraging wāhine to get screened. She is shown watching over the whenua with a Huia and Tuatara perched on her shoulders which enhance her mana, her age and presence.

“Papatūānuku in te ao Māori is the earth mother,” says designer Bridgette Keil, Ngāti Tamaterā. “[She’s] the connection between the physical and the spiritual, representing sustenance, strength and unit.”

“Having Papatūānuku depicted within the design, creates an immediate sense of care and aroha. It is a safe and private space where you will be treated with manaaki and respect.

 “If you’re a woman aged 45 to 69, especially Māori, we encourage you to take advantage of the new mobile unit, but more importantly have a mammogram every two years to ensure that any changes are picked up early.”

The areas the unit will be visiting include: Avondale, Onehunga, Lynfield, Mt Albert, Otāhuhu, Mt Wellington, Glen Innes, Waiheke and Mt Roskill. Book by phoning 0800 270 200 or visiting

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