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Cancer Society keen to see action to back up promise

13 July 2023 – The Cancer Society of New Zealand says Te Whatu Ora’s acknowledgement of National Travel Assistance (NTA) scheme inadequacies is encouraging, but it needs to see concrete action to fix it rolled out with urgency.

In this week’s episode of Paddy Gower Has Issues, Paddy tackled issues related to cancer care including looking into the NTA scheme.

He asked Te Whatu Ora Director Rachel Haggerty whether the NTA needed to be fixed and she acknowledged that the system was “inadequate” and that it had to change. Ms Haggerty agreed the mileage rate needed to be lifted from 28c a kilometre, that accommodation needed to reflect the going costs, and that direct payment needed to be considered over the current reimbursement model.

Cancer Society of New Zealand National Office Chief Executive Dr Rachael Hart said progress was long overdue. The Society had been campaigning, alongside other cancer and health charities, on the NTA issue since 2016 and the Ministry of Health had reviewed the scheme in 2018.

“What we need now is action, not more empty promises. We agree that NTA is a legacy issue – one that requires urgent attention. We will be looking for concrete progress towards a more equitable scheme in the near future, with more funding to make it fit-for-purpose. Whānau dealing with a cancer diagnosis have enough on their plate without having to worry about how they will make it to treatment.”


To arrange an interview, please contact:
Maria De Cort | Senior Communications Advisor | Cancer Society of New Zealand | 021 991 952

About the Cancer Society of New Zealand
The Cancer Society of New Zealand is the country's leading organisation dedicated to reducing cancer incidence and ensuring the best cancer care for New Zealanders. We are committed to working with communities and decision-makers by providing leadership and advocacy in cancer control, with core services in information and support, research and health promotion.