$18m boost to National Travel Assistance Scheme announced

Alongside our NGO colleagues, we believe there is more to be done and we will continue to advocate for further improvements. For now, this is a great start!

Minister announces an $18m boost for Kiwis travelling to treatment. 

Child Cancer Foundation is proud to have worked with colleagues at the Cancer Society, Leukaemia and Blood Cancer, Canteen and many other NGOs to improve funding under the National Travel Assistance (NTA) programme.  

 “A collective of health charities has welcomed today’s announcement by Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora to introduce changes to the National Travel Assistance (NTA) Scheme as an important step in the right direction.” – Cancer Society Press Release

Minister The Hon. Dr Shane Reti announced the $18m boost which will see increases in travel and accommodation rates. “We share our NGO colleagues’ view that there is more to be done. We will continue to advocate for further improvements but believe this is a great start!” said Shannyn Hansen, Child Cancer Foundation Family Support Manager. 

“The Foundation believes that in a structure where services are provided nationally, such as paediatric oncology, the system needs to ensure equal access to all patients and their families irrespective of their geographic location. In addition to this is the need for ease of access for families already under stress due to the impact of diagnosis.” — Shannyn Hansen, Child Cancer Foundation

From the Cancer Society’s press release: 

“The NTA was set up in 2005 to provide vital financial assistance for people who need to travel long distances, or frequently, to receive specialist health services. A Ministry of Health review of the Scheme in 2018 highlighted it was underfunded, inaccessible and inequitable. Despite important recommendations, no action had been taken in the last five years, leaving the Scheme woefully out of date, and failing those who need it the most.” 

You can read the full Cancer Society press release here. 

 “These changes are long overdue – the National Travel Assistance (NTA) scheme saw its last increase to mileage and accommodation rates way back in 2009. During a cost-of-living crisis, it’s really important to support this group of Kiwis with increased assistance in their time of need. I’m very pleased to announce a number of changes including: 

  • increased mileage and accommodation rates 
  • easier pre-payment and claiming options 
  • eligibility changes to better target those in need 
  • better promotion and awareness of the scheme”- Health Minister Dr Shane Reti

 See the full release from the New Zealand Government here.