Minister in good spirits as she undergoes chemo

Labour MP and Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan has entered week two of treatment following her cervical cancer diagnosis earlier in the month.

The MP announced she had been diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer in early April.

“So now the fight of my life begins,” she said in a Facebook post.

In a video update posted online yesterday, there were plenty of smiles, laughs and waiata as Allan received chemotherapy while being supported by fellow Labour MP Meka Whaitiri.

When she shared the news of her diagnosis, Allan said people’s first question often was: “Is there anything I can do?”

“My answer now is yes. Please, please, please - encourage your sisters, your mothers, your daughters, your friends - please #SmearYourMea - it may save your life - and we need you right here.”

Allan received a flood of messages of support following the news of her diagnosis.

She has been praised by The Cancer Society for bravely speaking out about it and for encouraging other women to get regular screenings.

But gynaecological oncologist Dr Ai Ling Tan said at the time New Zealand desperately needed to introduce HPV primary screening which was less uncomfortable and meant women could test themselves.

The Hits radio host Stacey Morrison added her support, saying on air how resilient and strong Allan had always been.

Morrison also talked about Talei Morrison, who was someone Allan cited as inspiration for founding the Smear Your Mea campaign aimed at encouraging Māori women, in particular, to test for cervical cancer.

Praise also quickly flowed in at the time for Allan from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Opposition leader Judith Collins and former National MP Nikki Kaye, who fought breast cancer when she was a Cabinet minister.

In a statement, Kaye said any cancer diagnosis was “very tough”.

“I know lots of people will be sending their love and support from in the Parliament and around NZ. The country will get in behind her.”

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