6 Jul 2019

Terminally ill father garners 130k signatures for cancer reform

6:08 am on 6 July 2019

A Southland father's petition calling for cancer care reform has garnered more than 130,000 signatures.

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Blair Vining. Photo: Facebook / Screenshot

Blair Vining, a 38-year-old father of two, was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer late last year and had to seek life-lengthening treatment through the private sector.

His petition calls for the establishment of a national cancer agency with oversight for care throughout the country.

Mr Vining wants the Labour government to follow through on its 2017 campaign pledge to create such an agency.

He was amazed by the response to the petition, he said.

"Online we've got over 80,000 and there's about 47,000 in the paper petition. It's amazing, I just really wish there were more people signing up to it - the more, the better.

"We've got two days left so if you haven't signed, jump on, go to Blair Vining's epic journey and sign up, and make some change happen."

The petition closes at 5pm tomorrow after its deadline was extended last Friday because Parliament's website crashed due to online traffic.

"The response I've had has been amazing," Mr Vining said.

"It's New Zealand's biggest ever cancer petition - so that's something to be proud of."

He wanted the Health Minister, David Clark, to "listen to the people who have signed the petition".

"Just see how important it is to everyone that has signed it," he said.

"It affects everyone in different ways and the support that we've had just goes to show how important it is to people.

"The best thing he could do is just act on it."

Mr Vining accepted any reform would come too late for him, but he hoped to save others' lives.

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