Eight years ago, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
I worried about the future, about my family and whether I could make it through. And I know that worry has touched almost every family in our country.
I also know that cancer care is a ‘postcode lottery’. The standard of care you can access depends on where you live. That is not right.
I am lucky though. I managed to beat prostate cancer. And by surviving, I decided I would never resile from fighting to ensure the best treatment for every New Zealander diagnosed with this awful disease.
Today, I was proud to announce that Labour will make sure New Zealanders get consistent cancer care, no matter where they live, by creating a National Cancer Agency.
The Agency will work with District Health Boards to bring care up to standard across the country and work to reduce the number of New Zealanders who die from cancer every year.
We can do this by investing in our healthcare system and reversing National’s $2.3bn of health underfunding over the past eight years.
It’s about priorities and is another way we’re making the choice between Labour and National clear. This election is a choice between Labour’s investment in healthcare, homes and education; and National’s $400m of tax cuts for the top 10%.
Today marks two months until election day and we still have so much work to do to win. We have to win this election if we want to make this and all our other policies a reality.