Te Aho o Te Kahu, Cancer Control Agency

Te Aho o Te Kahu, Cancer Control Agency provides strong leadership for, and oversight of, the continuum of cancer care in New Zealand.

The purpose of the Agency is to provide strong central leadership and oversight of cancer control. It is equity-led, knowledge-driven, person and whānau-centred and outcomes-focused, taking a whole-of-system focus on preventing and managing cancer. The Agency’s vision is:

  • fewer cancers
  • better survival
  • equity for all.


Chief Executive, Professor Diana Sarfati, was appointed by the State Services Commissioner on 1 December 2019 and is responsible for the work programme of the Agency. She is accountable directly to the Minister of Health.

Professor Diana Sarfati (MBChB, MPH, PhD, FNZCPHM) joins us as the interim Chief Executive for Cancer Control. As a public health physician, cancer epidemiologist and health services researcher Diana brings a commitment to improving equity and cancer outcomes through evidence-based, person-centred care and using strong collective expertise.

Diana was appointed as Head of the Department of Public Health in 2014, and is the Director of the Cancer and Chronic Conditions (C3) research group at University of Otago, Wellington. She has led a large body of research relating to ethnic disparities in cancer outcomes, particularly those affecting Indigenous peoples. This work has resulted in the identification of key patient and health system factors that influence cancer survival. It has been used extensively by health policy makers, clinicians and other researchers to develop policies and practices that aim to reduce inequities in cancer outcomes.

Diana is currently a member of the Advisory Committee to International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) Pacific cancer hub, IARC’s international expert group on social inequalities in cancer, the Academic Advisory Committee on the International Cancer Benchmarking Project, and she led a Lancet Oncology series on cancer in small island developing states. Diana is a former member of the National Screening Advisory Group, the National Ethics Advisory Committee, the Bowel Cancer Taskforce and the National Bowel Cancer Screening Advisory Committee.

An Advisory Council supports the leadership and ongoing direction of cancer control in New Zealand.

Hei Āhuru Mowai, Māori Cancer Leadership Aotearoa, is a partner to the Agency and gifted the Māori name Te Aho o Te Kahu. This means the central thread (Te Aho) of the cloak (Te Kahu) and refers to the weaving together of all the people, organisations and services involved along the cancer continuum.

The National Clinical Assembly (the Assembly) provides clinical advice and expertise to the Advisory Council and Chief Executive of Te Aho o Te Kahu. The Assembly demonstrates the strong commitment from cancer doctors, nurses, and other professionals to work together with Te Aho o Te Kahu for better outcomes for New Zealanders with cancer.

A Consumer Reference Group is currently being established to ensure the voices of people living with cancer and their whanāu are heard. 

Consumer Reference Group: Expressions of Interest

Te Aho o Te Kahu, Cancer Control Agency is looking for people to join our Consumer Reference Group and support us in improving cancer outcomes for all New Zealanders.

To find out more about this group, and how to apply, see:

Note applications close Friday 11 September 2020 at 5pm.

In this section

  • We understand you and your whānau may feel unsettled by the news we have COVID-19 cases, with an unknown source, in New Zealand. It is OK to be worried, but please know that cancer centres around the country are prepared to continue delivering essential cancer services at all alert levels. Read more
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