The Cancer Nurses College have the following resources available for members:

COVID-19 Resources

On this page

2022 COVID-19 Resources - Omicron variant

Omicron is front of mind for all at the moment and Te Aho o Te Kahu is working hard to ensure that cancer diagnosis and treatment can continue throughout the various phases of the Omicron community outbreak. We want to share some of the broader Omicron response planning currently being undertaken by Ministry of Health.

Last Tuesday Dr. Bloomfield hosted a webinar on managing the Omicron response for health sector leaders from DHBs, Public Health Units, Health NZ and the Māori Health Authority.

If you have any questions you would like the Te Aho o Te Kahu COVID-19 team to follow up with the Ministry of Health please email

With the changes to the COVID-19 Protection Framework and the announcement of NZ moving to Red Traffic Light Phase due to the emerging Omicron outbreak, Te Aho o Te Kahu are re-issuing advice to ensure services continue during this time. These are attached for your information and use. 

Key points:

  • In general, cancer treatment services are expected to continue with relevant safeguards.
  • With the retirement of the hospital escalation framework, the updated guidance provides a flexible structure for services to determine their level of disruption and communicate this.
  • Outpatient appointments will be shifted to virtual consults wherever possible.
  • In some instances, there may be consideration of treatments that can be deferred without impacting outcomes and consideration of treatments where the immunosuppressive risk is greater than the potential benefits at this time.
  • Please remember to talk to your patients about vaccination where appropriate, in particular booster vaccinations. Guidance on vaccination for people with cancer can be found here

Te Aho o Te Kahu have re-established the response team comprising of key Agency staff and key sector contacts that we will meet with as required 

For any further information, questions or comments Moira McLeod, Northern Hub Manager is the lead for this work

In addition, please note the Ministry of Health has released updated guidance for situations where service provision will be at risk of substantial compromise due to staff absence related to Omicron infection.

2021 COVID-19 Resources - Delta variant

The COVID-19 pandemic is particularly challenging for those living with cancer, especially those undergoing active cancer therapy, and their whānau. We thank you for the work you are doing, in ever-changing circumstances, to support them.

Te Aho o Te Kahu has re-issued advice to DHBs about cancer services, which should be largely continuing at this time. These are linked below for your information:

Key points include that:

  • Outpatient appointments will be shifted to virtual consults wherever possible
  • In general, cancer treatment services are expected to continue with relevant safeguards
  • In some instances, there may be consideration of treatments that can be deferred without impacting outcomes and consideration of treatments where the immunosuppressive risk is greater than the potential benefits at this time.
  • We are also aware that there may be occasional local disruptions to treatment due to the specific site issues (such as staff being required to self-isolate) but we are not aware of this occurring at this time, and all centres are working hard at both prevention and mitigation strategies to minimise disruption.
  • Please remember to talk to your patients about vaccination where appropriate.
  • Get guidance on vaccination for people with cancer

Te Aho o Te Kahu has a response team set up comprising of key Agency staff and key sector contacts allowing us to respond quickly as the situation changes.  

Back to top

Pre-2021 COVID-19 Resources

A message from Hei Āhuru Mōwai - COVID 19 advice for cancer patients and their whānau

Below is the official advice from Hei Āhuru Mōwai for cancer patients, their whānau, household members and carers/kai manaaki.

These messages have been written in partnership with the Cancer Control Agency, and we hope to have it hosted on The National Māori Pandemic Rōpū Page as well as any further pages that are relevant.

Dr Myra Ruka (one of our new board members/haematologist) is currently working on short videongettes with similar messaging and these will be sent out to you all as soon as possible. Thank you to the team for putting these together.

Please share widely and forward to your networks or anyone who needs to know clinically approved Māori cancer advice for whānau Māori, and ngā tūroro matepukupuku.

Childcare for essential workers

The communication below was developed by the Operational Command Centre, and information is also available on the COVID-19 website. Key to note is that the government will fund childcare for those who cannot make other arrangements.

I know you'll appreciate how vital it is that this information gets to all of our essential workers, and the distributed nature of the health system makes that more challenging than for other essential workforces. Everything we hear, suggests this is a real issue for our workers, and conversations with one DHB GM HR last night just reinforced this. I really appreciate your help with this.

Please note that this information has gone to DHB CEs and GMs HR, and we have asked DHB Comms to push this out in their regions.

Where possible, essential workers need to make their own arrangements for childcare from Thursday 26 March, due to limited capacity.

We know this will not be possible for everyone. Alternative arrangements have been made so essential workers can access government funded, in home childcare and continue to work.

Essential workers in your organisation qualify for this support if needed.

Please share the following message with your essential workers and direct them to the website, where more details will be provided as available today.

What essential workers need to know when making arrangements

Essential workers need to use their existing networks for in home care, for example: a neighbour, relative, friend or current carer/nanny who can come to your house, or provide childcare in your own home. There are Public Health rules you need to comply with:

  • The person providing care of your children of essentially becomes an extension of your self-isolating household group,
  • This group must remain the same for the whole 4-week period,
  • The carer should not care for children from other households (other than their own) over the same period, and
  • If a child or carer becomes unwell, they must stay at home.

If you do not have access to childcare through your own networks the government has agreed that it will fund other licensed childcare providers (for example through PORSE, Barnados and Edubase / Home Grown Kids) to provide in home care to the children aged 0-14 of essential workers. The carer would be subject to the same Public Health rules as set out above.

For the purposes of providing care to children of essential workers, the in home carer will be classified as an essential worker.

Initial list of contact details for providers

Barnados - - 0800 BARNARDOS (0800 227 627)
Edubase / Home Grown Kids - 0508 44 54 37 -
PORSE - 0800 023 456

More information on other providers, eg. OSCAR, will be updated on the website today.

Back to top

Anal Cancer Support Services

For sharing with patient groups, as appropriate. A support resource for patients. 


There are no CNC Consultations currently underway. Please refer to the NZNO Consultations page to find any of interest.

Back to top

Cure our Ovarian Cancer resources

Cure Our Ovarian Cancer have two programmes available for women with ovarian cancer.

  1. Online support groups (facilitated by an experienced counselor)
  2. TimeOut holiday home accommodation (TimeOut offers free stays in holiday homes and COOC offers an additional $200 grant to be used as the recipient sees fit - the only condition is that they are accepted through TimeOut).

They'd love for any woman who is interested to be able to access these programmes so please pass this information onto your patients and colleagues who would benefit from it.

Read more about these resources in the letter from Cure our Ovarian Cancer.

Mesothelioma Website

Approximately 3,000 individuals receive a mesothelioma diagnosis each year in the United States alone -- 2,500 of those victims lose their lives to the disease. Globally, over 43,000 people die from mesothelioma each year. provides:

  • The very best in treatment information,
  • 24/7 online support,
  • Financial aid, and much more.

They are also 'Health On the Net' certified as a trustworthy site for health information (HONcode Badge located bottom right of site), and are periodically reviewed by medical professionals.

Lastly, they proudly sponsor:

  • The American Cancer Society,
  • the MD Cancer Center, and
  • the Make a Wish Foundation.

Back to top

National Cervical Screening Programme Sector Update

  • April 2022 - This update provides information on initial approaches to support screening access as part of COVID-19 recovery planning, the implementation of HPV Primary Screening and details on the NCSP Parliamentary Review.

Back to top


The Cancer Nurses College NZ Nurses Organisation (NZNO) have produced a position statement to guide cancer nurses nationally in the safe handling of monoclonal antibody drugs (MAB’s). Monoclonal antibody drugs have historically been considered a subcategory of antineoplastic drugs and due to a paucity of evidence, handled with the same precautions. Evidence now suggests this may not be necessary due to the structure of these drugs. Although MAB’s are not considered as hazardous as conventional chemotherapy, nurses can be subjected to low level exposure over time and therefore specific precautions have been recommended. 

We would like to draw your attention to the position statement (see link below) and encourage you to disseminate widely. Whilst the position statement is specific to cancer nursing it is recognised that monoclonal antibodies are administered in other areas of health care and nurses in these areas may also find this a useful guide. 

Download or print: Position Statement on Safe Handling of Monoclonal Antibody Drugs (MAB's)

Please do not hesitate to contact the college if you have any questions at

The Knowledge and Skills Framework for Cancer Nurses (KSFCN)

In collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH), the NZ Nurses Organisation (NZNO) Cancer Nurses College (CNC) committee would like to provide you with a copy of the Knowledge and Skills Framework for Cancer Nurses (KSFCN).

Following a national consultation process, the final draft of the KSFCN was rigorously reviewed and subsequently approved and endorsed for implementation by the National Nursing Consortium in November 2014.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in NZ and as such requires the nurse to have the necessary education and tools to enable them to care for people with cancer across the health continuum in a number of settings. The KSFCN was developed  with MoH support by cancer nurses for cancer nurses. The KSFCN is intended to complement your current professional development framework(s) as a tool to assist nurses working across the cancer care continuum to identify the specific knowledge and skills required to support their personal and professional development as generalist nurses caring for people with cancer and/or nurses who wish to specialise in cancer nursing. The NZNO CNC committee encourages you to utilise the framework with a view to enhancing nurse’s learning and cancer patient outcomes.

As part of the committee’s commitment to continuous quality improvement in cancer nursing, the KSFCN will be reviewed in January 2016 to assess the applicability and usefulness of the framework in practice. You will be invited to participate in the 2016 national review of the KSFCN.

Click to download/view: The Knowledge and Skills Framework for Cancer Nurses

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the reference group listed in the Appendix.

For further details please contact us at

Analysis of the availability of cancer medicines in Aotearoa 

On 29 April, Te Aho o Te Kahu, Cancer Control Agency released their analysis of cancer medicine availability in NZ Aotearoa - Understanding the Gap: an analysis of the availability of cancer medicines in Aotearoa. This report analyses what cancer medicines are publicly funded in Australia compared to Aotearoa.

Cancer medicines – whether curative or life prolonging – are a critical part of cancer care. Better cancer outcomes are more likely to be achieved when there is equitable access to effective medicines.

Increasingly, concerns have been raised about the availability of certain cancer medicines in Aotearoa compared with their availability in similar countries. It is these concerns that have motivated us to publish this report. We wanted to understand more about the gaps in cancer medicines, to inform our work and the advice we give to Government.

Along with informing cancer policy decisions - most importantly - we want this analysis to benefit those living with cancer and their whānau.

I would like to acknowledge the Te Aho o Te Kahu team, led by Dr Nisha Nair, who worked so hard on this analysis and the many members of our advisory groups who, along with local and international experts, have generously provided their knowledge and insights. This valuable piece of work could not have been completed to such a high standard without you.

If you have any queries or comments in relation to the report please contact

Back to top

Previous conference presentations

Cancer Nurses College Conference 2017

Oncology & Haematology Conference 2015 - Raising the Profile
Conference presentations and video clips:

Back to top

© Copyright 2014 New Zealand Nurses Organisation. Authorised by NZNO, 57 Willis Street, Wellington