The Cancer Society flagship fundraiser Daffodil Day has become one of the latest Covid-19 alert level 4 lockdown casualties.
Instead of the charity's traditional street collection, which was due to take place on Friday, it is asking people to donate online instead.
Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society chief executive Shelley Campbell said the cancellation was a "disappointing blow".
"Daffodil Day is the culmination of many hours of hard work of not only staff, but dedicated volunteers throughout the region who coordinate Daffodil Day collections in their local community.
"Every one of them knows how important Daffodil Day is for the Cancer Society. Quite simply, it's our largest annual appeal, raising vital funds that enable us to support people with cancer and their families.
"The cancellation of our street appeal is likely to have a significant impact, which is very concerning - especially during Covid when people with cancer need support more than ever."
The services delivered by the Cancer Society were deemed essential.
Campbell said the charity moved quickly to respond to level four restrictions last Wednesday, like moving nurse consults online and via phone and implementing strict protocols for drivers taking cancer patients to treatment.
The charity also extended operations at the Cancer Society's Lions Lodge from five to seven days a week to ensure it remained a safe bubble for cancer patients receiving treatment. The 55-room facility provided free accommodation and meals for people who need to travel for cancer treatment at Waikato Hospital.
"Obviously, that comes with a host of unplanned costs – like additional meals, more staffing, increased cleaning. So the cancellation of our flagship fundraiser couldn't come at a worse time," Campbell said
While the Cancer Society's smiling volunteers in their yellow hi-vis vests will be missing from the streets on Friday, Campbell said the public could still help.
"The street collection is cancelled, but Daffodil Day isn't."
The charity asks the community to take their support online and make an urgent donation at www.daffodilday.org.nz.