Nelson Marlborough Health’s He Huarahi Matepukupuku project is funded by the Ministry of Health and aims to improve the ‘cancer pathway’ for Maori people in Te Tau Ihu and Te Waipounamu.

The main goals of the project are to improve:

  • health professionals’ cultural competency 
  • the cultural appropriateness of health services 
  • health literacy within the Maori community by increasing awareness of cancer signs and symptoms and by increasing understanding of the cancer treatment pathways and processes.

The Cancer Korero booklet

The Cancer Korero booklet has been collated to help towards these goals – in particular the goal to improve health literacy and understanding of cancer treatment pathways.

“Through being well-informed about cancer we have a head start on knowing the truth. We can then be prepared to care for our own tinana, but also tautoko whānau or friends going through it.” – Lorraine Staunton, Maori Cancer Pathway Educator, Nelson Marlborough Health.  

The booklet is written with Maori people in mind and includes sections on:

  • cancer definitions and terminology
  • how to reduce your risk of cancer
  • bowel screening
  • community supports.

Download the booklet here.

Community Cancer Support brochure

The Community Cancer Support brochure brings details of the cancer services available in one place.

The brochure includes information and contact details for:

  • Te Piki Oranga (Maori Health Services)
  • Cancer Society
  • Victory Community Centre
  • Nelson Marlborough Health services.

View the Community Cancer Support brochure for your area below:

Patient experience: Chemotherapy

Oncology patient Thomas Ngaruhe shares his chemotherapy experience.

Andy's story

Andy Joseph350An invitation to attend a community hui led Nelson Marlborough Health Kaumatua, Archdeacon Andy Joseph, to his own diagnosis.

Andy arrived early, picked up a Cancer Korero booklet and as he read through a checklist of symptoms associated with prostate cancer tears welled up in his eyes. He realised he’d experienced them all in the past year.

Read Andy's full story here.

Encouraging cultural competency

Northland GP and former New Zealander of the Year, Dr Lance O’Sullivan addressed over 500 people during a visit to the region earlier in the year. 

LanceVisit image2Dr O’Sullivan was invited to share his knowledge and views with health professionals as part of Nelson Marlborough Health's He Huarahi Matepukupuku  (Cancer Pathways for Maori) project.

One of the goals of the project is to improve cultural competency for health professionals within Te Tau Ihu (the top of the South Island), and to improve the cultural appropriateness of healthcare services.

Dr O'Sullivan's presentation touched on many aspects of cultural competency. One participant commented that they hadn't thought about 'clinical vs cultural competency' and that 'that line can be very difficult to differentiate if you are not made aware of it.'

Other participants expressed their appreciation of Dr O'Sullivan's thinking beyond traditional methods of healthcare delivery, his solution-focused, practical style and the everyday examples of inequalities he shared.

Watch Dr O'Sullivan's presentation.

Former All Black Captain encourages men to communicate

Former All Black Wayne 'Buck' Shelford shared his cancer journey recently at a special 'Breakfast with Buck' event designed to raise awareness of prostate cancer and the importance of early detection.

Over breakfast Buck emphasized the need for men to get checked when they have any suspicions that something is not right in their body. He told the crowd of over a hundred people that men need to communicate with their wives, partners and tamariki, as "they are the ones that will be with you on your journey and you need their support."

He also spoke about the attitudes that generally keep men from going to their doctor and how this needs to change if men are to lead by example for their families.

Joining Buck on stage was Dr Tim Phillips, a General Practitioner. Dr Phillips used humour and story-telling to convey basic information such as, what a prostate is, where it is, how it is checked and how long it takes for test results to come back.

Presentation from Dr Jason Gurney: Cancer inequities for Maori

Dr Gurney is an epidemiologist and Māori health researcher at the University of Otago, with experience leading national projects in cancer, chronic conditions and congenital condition epidemiology. This is a video of a presentation he gave to clinicians in the Nelson Marlborough region in March 2018.