Canterbury District Health Board is trialling a new test to detect human papilloma virus infections that may lead to cervical cancer.
The virus can be identified by a cervical smear for women over the age of 30.
But with more than 100 different strands of the virus, known as HPV, current tests can not detect the seriousness of an infection.
HPV can be prevented with a vaccine called Gardasil, available free to girls aged 12 and above.
The trial, at the Canterbury health laboratories at Christchurch hospital, will allow women of any age to test for the severity of an HPV virus.