Cancer care campaigner steps out of limelight

A Southland man who has been campaigning for the establishment of a national cancer agency says it's now time for him to spend time with his family.

Blair Vining's petition in support of a national cancer agency was handed over to the Government, after receiving more than 140,000 signatures.

The Winton father-of-two 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 - and get rid of disparities across the country.

Vining updated supporters on his Facebook page, saying he was glad he was able to meet with Health Minister, David Clark and it was now time to step out of the limelight.

"We discussed our many concerns with the health system, shared the many stories that have been shared with us and MOST importantly discussed the National Cancer Plan & our reasons for the National Cancer Agency," he said. 

"We all agreed on the need for central leadership, targets, accountability and the need for the disparity of care across NZ to come to an end. Hopefully, it won't be too much longer before the release of the National Cancer Plan & an announcement around the leadership & governance of the plan."

Vining explained that he now wanted to spend time with his family.

"I am hopeful I will be around for the select committee hearing of the petition. For now, I am going to focus on spending time with my three beautiful girls." 

"Thank you again for helping me create the largest cancer petition in NZ."