Support for Maori and Pasifika

As a Maori or Pasifika woman undergoing treatment for breast cancer, you may like to know about support groups in which you can share and talk with other women of your culture.

Many Maori and Pasifika women are diagnosed later with breast cancer and/or have more aggressive forms of the disease.

Some Maori and Pasifika women find it an unfamiliar or uncomfortable experience dealing with various health and medical professals and asking questions. If you find it difficult to talk to your doctor or to understand what they're saying, here are some ways you can help yourself:

  • make a list of questions you want to ask your surgeon or oncologist.  Don't be afraid to ask questions - you need to understand what is happening to you so put down everything that will help increase your knowledge
  • take someone to appointments with you who feels able to ask questions 
  • find another woman who has experienced breast cancer who may be able to help you understand the disease and/or treatments
  • don't feel pressured to make a decision about treatment immediately.  If you need time to think about your options, take this time. It is your right to do so.
  • Contact the Maori and Pasifika support groups listed below.

Support Groups

There are not that many breast cancer support groups that focus specifically on Maori and Pasifika women.

Many Maori and Pasifika women gain great support from talking to and relying on whanau/family; friends and church groups.  Use these resources if you can and don't be afraid to ask friends and family for help and support.

If you'd like to make contact with other women who have experienced breast cancer, check out the Maori and Pasifika groups below.  You may also like to contact some of our member groups.  They may well have Maori or Pasifika members who would be able to support you.

Support groups for Maori women

  • Wahine Toa

    Wahine Toa is a support group for Maori women affected by a Breast Cancer diagnosis.

    The group meets in a friendly and supportive environment on the fourth Thursday of every month at the Clover Park Community House in Manukau – Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland).

    Wahine Toa offers empowerment through sharing views, gaining information, helping others or simply listening. For more detailed information contact Moana.

  • Te Ha o Te Oranga o Ngati Whatua

    Te Ha o Te Oranga o Ngati Whatua is the health provider arm of Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua.  It delivers a range of health services and seeks to build strong relationships with other health providers to help achieve health gains for Maori people. For more information please email