Howie Morrison Jnr Trio come up with quirky jingle to support bowel cancer screening

By Marena Mane

The National Bowel Screening Programme launched a new advertising campaign today, which is designed to be a little cheeky, with a humorous approach to a serious topic.

Because of the low participation rates by Māori and Pasifika, the campaign focuses on encouraging whānau, to take part in bowel screening.

The new campaign takes a humorous approach to recommending whānau do the bowel screening test at home and features a quirky jingle sung by Howie Morrison (son of Sir Howard Morrison) and the Howie Morrison Jnr Trio. 

“I think Māori are naturally very funny people at the best of times and I think it’s because Māori men especially are very whakamā. They will turn something into a joke to hide themselves being whakamā,” Howie Morrison says.

One of the Howie Morrison Jnr trio, Chris Powley, is a cancer survivor, and who says it was a life-changing experience, not only for himself but for his whānau as well.

“I was only 20 years old and I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and abdominal cancer, so I had an intense six months of chemotherapy and treatment and came out the other side.”

“It has changed my whole perspective on life and being healthy and being aware, so it’s great to be a part of this kaupapa.”

Another member of the trio, Takerei Peck, says, “A lot of our Māori men have got this persona that, 'I don’t need to do that, I don’t need to go to the doctor, and I’m alright'. But I think that’s why it’s important to be part of this sort of kaupapa to promote that actually, you can catch it and like in the waiata, early detection can save the day.”