Many ways to give this Daffodil Day

By Rachael Hart, Cancer Society of New Zealand National Chief Executive

24 August 2023

Category: Clinical


Daffodil Day. The Cancer Society of New Zealand’s annual street appeal has become an iconic event. A day where yellow flower power reigns, and some of us dress top to toe in yellow to raise vital funds for a charity whose mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of one of this country’s biggest killers. It’s also a day where we buy or wear our daffodils to remember loved ones lost to cancer or those friends and family currently facing their own cancer journey.

2023 is the 33rd year for our society’s biggest nationwide fundraiser and awareness-raiser, and it’s the most important yet as more people than ever before are expected to receive a cancer diagnosis in the year ahead.

When your patients get cancer, we are here to help them manage that journey. We provide a helpline, counselling, one-on-one and group support, transport and accommodation to individuals and their whānau during treatment, plus we produce a host of printed and online information.

We are not just about caring for people with cancer in the here and now either. We are also looking out for those who may get cancer in the future – working in the advocacy space to drive system level change, funding research, and working hard in cancer prevention so that fewer people will get cancer in the future.

This year the Cancer Society is calling on New Zealanders to give so no one faces cancer alone.

Every day 71 New Zealanders are diagnosed with cancer and the number of people affected by cancer in New Zealand is expected to increase by 46% by 2040. Rather than be resigned to this fact as a given, what if we were to mobilise as a community and do what we could to prevent it from tracking that way?

This Daffodil Day we encourage people to take a moment to think about what we can all do to bring about change and help create a brighter future where more people survive and thrive.

When we ask people to ‘give today’, there are so many layers of giving. Yes, you can donate – whether you drop a few coins in a bucket or make a large donation – it all adds up and makes a difference. Or you could give your time and energy to help us lobby for changes in policy or systems that will improve health outcomes for people with cancer and their whānau. Follow Cancer Society on our social media channels or sign up to receive our newsletters so you hear about opportunities to get involved.

Giving active support is another way we encourage the public to give. Everyone has a part to play in preventing cancer. Not all cancers can be prevented, but there are things we can do to lower the chance of getting many types of cancer like being active, smokefree and sunsmart, drinking no or less alcohol, having a healthy diet, and getting recommended vaccines and screening. The Cancer Society puts a lot of time and effort into developing programmes and providing information and support in this space. We recognise the unique role GPs have in promoting healthy lifestyles, and want to be a partner to you in preventing cancer.

For those in general practice we have a fourth ask – give referrals. When you have a patient with cancer let them know about our services. We are there to help anyone with any cancer.

GPs are the first port of call for most individuals and their whānau when they have a health concern.

As such, GPs and staff in their practices, are often involved at the start of a patient’s cancer journey and can help by signposting patients to the Cancer Society’s information resources, helping them to understand what to expect before, during and after treatment.

We’ve worked hard to demystify medical terms and processes, talking in everyday language about the impact and management of the cancer journey.

Patients can view our resources by heading to the Cancer Society website, through their local Cancer Society or by calling the 0800 CANCER (0800 226 237) phone line.

With partnership, cross-referral and mutual support, together we can help people navigate a complex and often confusing environment, and we can challenge statistics to lower the incidence and impact of cancer in Aotearoa.

Give what you can to make a difference and show your support and belief in our mission. Give today, so no one faces cancer alone at

Rachael hart_edited
Rachael Hart, Cancer Society of New Zealand National Chief Executive