About HPA and SunSmart
The Health Promotion Agency
The Health Promotion Agency (HPA) is a New Zealand crown agency that promotes good health and encourages healthy lifestyles. The long-term focus of the HPA is on reducing the social, financial and health sector costs of smoking, skin cancer, problem gambling, and obesity. The prevention of skin cancer and the promotion of sun safety in New Zealand is lead by the HPA and the Cancer Society of New Zealand, under the SunSmart brand.
The HPA's sun safety programme for 2011-2014 will help achieve the key strategic outcomes outlined in the Skin Cancer Control Steering Committee Strategic Framework 2011-14. More information about this framework is outlined below.
Other organisations and professionals that are working to prevent skin cancer include:
- Melanoma Foundation of New Zealand
- Cancer Control New Zealand
- National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA)
- Public health units within District Health Boards
- General Practitioners
The SunSmart Programme
The promotion of sun safety in New Zealand (using the SunSmart brand) is managed through a close strategic partnership between HPA, the Cancer Society of New Zealand and the Melanoma Foundation of New Zealand. SunSmart is the national brand for the promotion of sun safety. The HPA administers this SunSmart website, leads the SunSmart mass media campaigns, and contributes to other sun safety promotional activities and partnerships.
Sun safety promotion in New Zealand has two main sources of funding. The Government funds the work of the HPA, while the Cancer Society of New Zealand and the Melanoma Foundation of New Zealand are funded through fundraising, donations and bequests.
As part of the HPA's sun safety programme for 2011-2014, it proposes four key outcomes for achievement over the three-year period:
- Increased community support and encouragement
- Individual knowledge, attitude and behaviour change
- Enabling policies, practices, and environments that support sun safety
- Improved sector productivity.
Particular programmes of work to achieve those outcomes are:
• Focus on adolescents (13 to 17 years)
• Focus on recreation and primary health care sectors
Skin Cancer Control Steering Committee Strategic Framework 2011-14
The Skin Cancer Control Steering Committee aims to reduce the proportion of New Zealanders who develop, and die from, skin cancer. The Steering Committee is a national group of representatives from organisations working in skin cancer control. The role of the Committee is to improve coordination and collaboration among those organisations. The Committee meets every three years to develop the New Zealand Skin Cancer Control Strategic Framework. The Framework is a sector-led strategy to guide skin cancer control activities.
In February 2011 the Committee published the New Zealand Skin Cancer Control Strategic Framework for 2011 to 2014, which identifies five intervention pathways for reducing the incidence and impact of skin cancer. They are prevention; early detection; diagnosis and treatment; rehabilitation, support and palliative care; and research, evaluation and surveillance. For more information please read the Strategic Framework (PDF, 200KB).
Exposure to UV radiation before the age of 20 is a particularly strong risk factor for developing melanoma, so this Strategic Framework continues to focus on prevention activities to reduce excessive UV radiation exposure in young people.