Financial/Accommodation & Practical Support

"The barriers we faced were financial, that was a big one. Getting the support that we needed individually but also as a couple as well. Emotionally it would break me down, to the point where I wouldn't know what to do."
AYA Patient's Partner

Support Directory

Personal costs often increase for young people when they begin treatment; this can be due to needing to take time out from work, hospital car parking, petrol, away-from-home accommodation and potentially for some young people as well as childcare costs.

Below is a list of services and resources that may be useful in supporting young people.

Work & Income NZ (WINZ)

There are a number of ways that WINZ may be able to financially assist young people. These may include providing benefit payments, emergency grants, travel and accommodation cost assistance when related to ongoing healthcare visits, as well as carer benefits/allowances to meet ongoing related costs.

National Travel Assistance

If young people need to travel long distances, or travel frequently for health care then they may be eligible for help with expenses under the National Travel Assistance Scheme. These expenses may include travel, accommodation and support person’s costs.

KiwiSaver – Significant Financial Hardship/Serious Illness

There may be opportunities to withdraw some KiwiSaver savings in the cast where significant financial hardship or serious illness occurs. For further information please contact the relevant KiwiSaver provider.

Community Services Card

This card can help young people with the costs of healthcare. If they qualify they will pay less on some health services such as GP visits and prescriptions.

0800 999 999

Pharmaceutical Subsidy Card

Young people can get this card from their pharmacist if they

have collected 20 subsidised prescription items in a year. If they are under 18 years this number can be combined with their family. All further prescriptions that are fully subsidised for the rest of the year will be free. The year begins counting from the 1st of February.

To get the card young people should be instructed to talk with their regular pharmacist who will hopefully be keeping their information electronically.

Carer Support

If a young person is undergoing treatment and requires a full time carer (can be a family member) there is a subsidy to assist the unpaid, fulltime carer to take a break from caring for the young person.
Please refer the carer to a social worker or GP for more information and to assess their eligibility.

Carer Support claims – Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand

Make A Wish

Make A Wish grants wishes

and experiences for children and young people with life threatening conditions up to 18 years of age. A diagnosis of cancer qualifies young people to participate.

St John Ambulance Supporter Scheme

By paying a small annual subscription a young person qualifies for free ambulance cover if needed.

High Use Health Card

Young people who use the GP often may find benefit in the High Use Health Card. Eligible users are those who have visited a health practitioner at the general practice they are enrolled in, 12 or more times in one year, with the consultations being related to a particular condition or condition(s) which are ongoing.

The general practice will have a record of visits, and the doctor will need to make the application on the patient’s behalf for a HUHC.

This card may reduce the cost of fees for after-hours GP visits, and some practices may charge a lower fee to enrolled patients.

High Use Health Card – Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand

Support Services

The below non-government organisations can provide varying level of support to young people and their whānau through sourcing practical support, providing accommodation options, transport to and from treatment and in some circumstances financial assistance.

Cancer Society | (Accommodation/Assistance with getting to treatment)

Leukaemia and Blood Cancer NZ (LBC) |

Breast Foundation Cancer NZ |

CanTeen |

Child Cancer |

Printable Resources

Please find below the New Zealand specific resources. These are available to be downloaded and printed.
To be mailed high resolution colour copies, please contact or ask for copies from your local AYA Keyworker.

AYA Practical Support Resource Booklet

Heidi Watson

The Clinical Leader is responsible for providing clinical leadership and national oversight of the network .

Heidi is a passionate and experienced health professional with a strong clinical, education and leadership background. Her enthusiasm for, and commitment to youth health has focused on improving the outcomes of youth with cancer and chronic health conditions. Previously, Heidi held the position of AYA Cancer Nurse Specialist for Auckland District Health Board. Alongside her AYA clinical leadership role she holds a youth health academic position at the University of Auckland.