Consumer engagement

The Southern Cancer Network has established the South Island Cancer Consumer Group to provide a forum to address cancer consumer related issues within the Southern Region. Click here to see the group's Terms of Reference.

The active involvement of key stakeholders, consumers, carers and communities is a fundamental principle of the New Zealand Cancer Control Strategy (Ministry of Health 2000). Other national strategies also identify the importance of addressing consumer needs by consulting with consumers and communities. The focus on participation is seen as an essential way to provide a voice to consumers generally, as well as specifically to Māori and also to Pacific peoples to address inequalities that impact on health and wellbeing.

The involvement of consumers will include identifying ways to increase community access to information about cancer control as well as ways to become actively involved in the provision of cancer control services and programmes. The engagement of consumers in an ongoing manner so they are an integral part of cancer control planning and decision-making will contribute to an increased knowledge and understanding of the significance of the Cancer Control Strategy within the wider community. There will also be a greater sense of community ownership of cancer control activities.


  • Consumers are people who have had a personal experience of cancer services or close support persons providing unpaid care to a cancer patient.
  • Consumer Representatives are consumers who provide a consumer view on cancer control services across the continuum.
  • Participation occurs when consumers, carers and community members are meaningfully involved in decision making about cancer control planning and service improvement, and the wellbeing of themselves and the community.
  • Consumer participation can happen at all levels of health care.

Our consumer participation strategies include:

  • Committee / Advisory Group work - participating on a committee or advisory group as a consumer representative
  • Focus group activity - coming together as a group of consumers to provide information on a specific issue
  • Contribution to research and policy - providing comment on specific documents / strategies or engaging with research


Consumer Interview:

Ken Bowie was recently interviewed for the SDHB Bowel Screening programme.  Click here to view the full interview. 


If you are a consumer looking for health information related to cancer, you may find the following websites useful: