The Hawke's Bay Cancer Society has put on hold a multimillion-dollar wellness centre building project after a change in the landscape of treatment and facilities available for cancer patients in the region.
The Cancer Wellness Centre was to be built in Orchard Rd, Hastings, across from Hawke's Bay Hospital, where it would have provided cancer patients with a range of therapies plus access to information, advice and support.
David Trim, Hawke's Bay Cancer Society Hawke's Bay Executive Committee board member, said the decision was not taken lightly.
"We are putting it on hold until we can reassess how we best support the cancer patients in Hawke's Bay.
"The treatment and facilities available for cancer patients in Hawke's Bay have changed over the four years we have been working on the project. Now we need to find ways to complement the new landscape," Trim said.
Hawke's Bay Cancer Society Executive Committee chairwoman Melissa Horsefield said it was not the end of the Cancer Wellness Centre project.
"However in view of recent announcements, we decided to pause our plans so we can ensure the money we raise will be spent in the best and most relevant way for our community."
Last year the Government announced an easing of access to radiation treatment by funding linear accelerators (LINAC) for more regions, including Hawke's Bay.
The new service is scheduled for the 2020-21 financial year.
"Getting LINAC therapy here will make a huge difference to people's recovery and relieve stress for them and their families, and the Cancer Wellness Centre is more likely to provide a combination of extra services to complement the new facility," Horsefield said.
"We want to have the best access to treatment and the best support for people and their carers going through the cancer journey.
"So this is an exciting time for those of us who have been advocating for these things for so long."
Trim added the fundraising will be put on hold as well.
The delay in the project does not affect the operational arm of the Hawke's Bay Cancer Society, Horsefield said.
"A separate team was established to work on the plans and fundraising for the wellness centre.
"There is no doubt that with this significant change in the landscape, Hawke's Bay will end up with better cancer treatment facilities, and the Cancer Society looks forward to being a part of these changes," she said.