25 Jul 2019

Cancer reform petition presented to Parliament

2:53 pm on 25 July 2019

The petition of a terminally ill Southland father calling for cancer care reform has been presented to Parliament today.

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Blair Vining's petition received more than 140,000 signatures. Photo: Facebook / Screenshot

Blair Vining started the petition after he was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer late last year.

The petitions asks for an independent, national cancer agency to be created to address death rates and oversee prevention, early detection and treatment.

In the petition, Mr Vining said the agency needed to be free from political interference, be well-funded, and set clear, accountable targets for the government and district health boards.

"Between 500 and 800 Kiwis die from cancer each year who would live if we had Australia's survival rates. Here, survival can depend on who you are or where you live," he said.

The petition received more than 140,000 signatures.

Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker confirmed the petition has been presented, saying pushing for a national cancer agency was the last item on Mr Vining's bucket list.

"Blair has terminal cancer and while it is too late for him, his selfless act of achieving better cancer care for all New Zealanders will ensure his legacy lives on and prevent heartache for many other Kiwi families," Mr Walker said.

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