Petition for national cancer agency gathers steam

  • 25/06/2019

A petition launched in support of a national cancer agency has so far gathered more than 80 thousand signatures.

The petition has been organised by Winton father-of-two Blair Vining who was diagnosed with stage four terminal bowel cancer in October.

After his own experience with cancer treatment, the 38-year-old wants to improve cancer care for other New Zealanders.

Vining told Magic Talk's Rural Exchange that New Zealanders should get consistent cancer treatment, no matter where they live.

"At the moment treatment is dependent on where you live and how much money you have," he said.

He said, at present, Southlanders had to travel to Dunedin for unfunded drugs, and he believed an independent cancer organisation would help. 

"If we could just sort something out with the Government, so it is independent from politics," said Vining.

He said the money spent on overseas aid by the Government would be better spent on improving cancer services for New Zealanders. 

Blair with daughters Della-May and Lilly.
Blair with daughters Della-May and Lilly. Photo credit: Blair Vining's Epic Journey

"They keep chucking money overseas, but they  should be looking after their own people."

Vining said his cancer diagnosis came out of the blue, after feeling under the weather.

"I was just living my life like a normal 38-year-old, life was just really good."

"I went to the hospital and came home with terminal cancer."

Vining said there had been amazing support from across Southland for him and his family, and the signatures for his petition had been coming in thick and fast from around New Zealand.

Blair Vining's petition to establish a national cancer agency is open until June 28 and will be presented to Parliament by Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker.

Listen to Blair Vining's interview with Rural Exchange.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay and Richard Loe, 6-8am Saturday and Sunday on Magic Talk.