Melanoma survivor calling for lower sunscreen prices, GST removal

  • 04/03/2024

A stage four melanoma cancer survivor is calling for the price of sunscreen to be lowered, and one way could be removing GST off the products.

Appearing on AM wearing a "melahomie" t-shirt on Monday, Shane Callaghan said his melanoma started as a 4.2mm sore on the top of his head but tumours spread all over his body -  a birthday diagnosis he'll never forget.

"I found out I had tumours in my head, shoulders, hips, thighs, lungs, liver and spine."

Now he's three years cancer-free and is urging Kiwis to protect themselves.

"I grew up in a culture where we used to do stupid things like put tanning butter on and stuff like that, but now you need to have sunscreen," Callaghan warned.

"The sun's so much worse than it was back then but I still got it.

"To me not wearing sunscreen at the beach or out is like driving a car without a seatbelt - you might get away with it for so long but when it turns bad it can turn really, really bad and I found out."

However, Callaghan reckons the expensive price of sunscreen is putting people off.

"I think if it was a fair price people could afford they'd be using it a lot more."

He believes it should also be on prescription for those with skin issues, but also urged people to do their research on the effectiveness of sunscreen.

"I've been doing some research on that so you'd need to have a good look and see what ones are good, well-known, trusted ones and also you have to to remember that when you put it on it doesn't stay on all day you've got to re-apply and re-apply - you go for a swim, you have to reapply."

Consumer NZ has launched a database on their website with information on 102 different sun protection products, including the price and SPF rating.