A bowel cancer screening centre has picked up 10 cases in its first few months, Health Minister Tony Ryall says.
The Takapuna pilot programme began late last year and so far 7500 screening kits have been returned and tested.
About 490 people have been offered a diagnostic colonoscopy as blood was found in their sample - a possible sign of bowel cancer.
Five bowel cancers and five cancerous polyps were detected.
Mr Ryall says bowel cancer is the second biggest cause of cancer death in New Zealand.
"If it is detected early, as can happen in a screening programme, there is a very good chance of long term survival," he said on Friday.
The pilot programme is due to run for four years.
"Towards the end of the pilot the government will analyse what's worked and what hasn't and make a decision on rolling out a national programme," Mr Ryall said.
"These figures are encouraging, they indicate people are receptive to the idea of bowel screening but it is still early days."