Northland's first private cancer treatment clinic was officially opened in Whangārei on Friday.

Canopy Cancer Care chief executive Ben Harman said it would offer a wide range of services, delivered by a dedicated team of local oncologists, sparing patients the often long journey to Auckland.

"Patients shouldn't have to travel huge distances to access their cancer care, which is why it was so important to establish a clinic in Whangārei," he said.

"For many patients, the long journey and time away from family and friends while they are being treated is really hard. We believe this new clinic will make a huge difference to local patients and their families for many years to come."


Northland DHB chief executive Dr Nick Chamberlain said the clinic may reduce the pressure on publicly-funded services a little, but more importantly it reduce travel time for those who were currently going to Auckland for private treatment.

"Patients wishing to access unfunded cancer treatments locally will also benefit from this new Whangārei service," he said.

Medical oncologist Dr Lisa Dawson said she was delighted to be part of the Canopy team in Whangārei.

"The services offered by the clinic will provide patients with choice in their treatment; Canopy provides patients with access to cancer drugs and treatments, including those not available in the public health system," she said.

"Our very experienced team here in Whangārei have expertise in the tumour areas of breast, gastro-intestinal, gynaecological, kidney, bladder, prostate, lung and melanoma.

"We also welcome referrals for patients with head and neck cancers, brain and neuroendocrine cancer.

"The cancer journey is not easy. It's emotionally and physically stressful, so we're thrilled to be able to provide this world-class treatment to our patients in a local clinic," she added.

"As an oncologist it is my desire to help people with cancer, and at Canopy Cancer Care we can provide them with the highest standard of care and leading treatments available to ensure the best possible outcome for them."

The clinic will be led by Whangārei medical oncologists Drs Vince Newton, Lisa Dawson and Abbey Wrigley, while the clinical team also includes specialty oncology nurses led by Charlie McKenzie.