Southern Cancer Network

Southern Cancer Network - reducing the burden of cancer


SCN Workplan Update

October 2018

This update provides an overview of the 2018/19 SCN work plan supporting DHBs to deliver against the Te Waipounamu South Island Health Services Plan for Cancer Services.  Click here to view:


Key Messages from Recent Meetings

The South Island Cancer Consumer Group, Te Waipounamu Maori Leadership Group and South Island Psychological & Social Support  Steering Groups have recently met and endorsed the following key messages:

South Island Psychological & Social Support 

Te Waipounamu Maori Leadership group


SCN Quarterly Newsletter

The SCN update for Q3 is now available - click here to view!

Our purpose

Cancer is the single biggest cause of death in New Zealand. many of us will have some experience of it, either personally or through whānau or a friend. More people are developing cancer, mainly because the population is growing and getting older. In the South Island in 2010 there were 5,613 new registrations of cancer, and 2,263 deaths.

Many cancers can be cured if they’re found and treated in time. It is estimated that in New Zealand, about 1 person in every 3 who gets cancer is cured. Even if the cancer cannot be cured, more effective treatment means many people are now living longer.

The New Zealand Cancer Control Strategy Action Plan identified the need to develop formal regional structures that would enhance co-operation and collaboration for cancer control, and the Southern Cancer Network is one of four regional cancer networks that were established to work across organisational boundaries to promote a collaborative approach to service planning and delivery of cancer services in the South Island. 

The SCN works collaboratively to reduce the incidence of cancer and to reduce inequalities of access, care and outcomes for cancer patients. By implementing the aims of the New Zealand Cancer Control Strategy and the subsequent National Programme of Cancer, the Network aims to reduce the impact of cancer on the South Island community.

Our work is guided by the New Zealand Cancer Plan 2015–2018, which sets out the cancer-related programmes, activities and services that are being implemented across the country over the next three years. It also signals potential future initiatives.  The new Cancer Plan is currently being drafted and should be available in the coming months.

The principles guiding the New Zealand Cancer Plan are to:

  • maintain high quality of care and improve the quality of life for people with cancer;
  • effectively, equitably and sustainably meet the future demand for cancer services; and
  • ensure fiscal responsibility.

We work with the district health boards (DHBs), a range of providers and consumers to co-ordinate services across health providers at all levels and  ensure integration of services where appropriate.

Our stakeholders represent and work across different components of the cancer continuum: South Island DHBs, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), GPs and primary health organisations (PHOs), cancer service providers, cancer consumers and their family / whānau, hospices and research organisations. We work collaboratively with our stakeholders to plan and co-ordinate services in line with national standards of treatment. .

The work of the Network could not occur without the expertise, goodwill and collaborative spirit of our stakeholders and we thank you for your ongoing support.

More information on cancer in New Zealand, and support resources, are available on the Ministry of Health website.