News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Actress Rena Owen To Lead Call For Action On Viral Hepatitis

Today [Mon 10th Sept], New Zealand actress Rena Owen will be joining hundreds of health professionals, social workers, community groups and people living with hepatitis B and C to deliver the "Auckland Statement": a call for urgent action to curb the rate of new infections and stop the rising death toll from viral hepatitis.

At the event Ms Owen will speak publicly about her private battle with Hepatitis C.

More than half a million people across Australia and New Zealand are thought to be living with chronic Hepatitis B or C infections. These people may have no symptoms and therefore live with what Ms Owen calls, "An insidious silent killer."

"Without treatment, this deadly virus can progress to liver cancer or failure. It is a global epidemic and one of the leading causes of death by liver disease. Every single day 50 more New Zealanders and Australians are diagnosed with chronic viral hepatitis," says Ms Owen.

"Unless there are drastic changes, many will not even know that they are infected until it is too late."

"We need to raise awareness and change the current low levels of diagnosis and treatment. It can save a life and that is why I am choosing to share my story publicly."

Viral hepatitis can be transmitted via sexual contact (hepatitis B) or blood-to-blood contact (hepatitis B and C). Those most affected by viral hepatitis include people who inject or have injected drugs, people born overseas in countries with widespread viral hepatitis infection, Maori, Pacific Islander, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The "Auckland Statement" will be delivered from at SkyCity Hotel, Auckland, on Monday,10th September. Media are invited to attend.


An online petition will also be launched ( to give the community an opportunity to show their support.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Roddy Doyle's Grim and Gritty Rosie

Although it was completed over two years ago, Roddy Doyle's first original screenplay in over eighteen years has only just arrived in New Zealand. It's been well worth the wait. More>>

Howard Davis: Naming Names - The Personal History of David Copperfield

Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Armando Iannucci has re-imagined Charles Dickens’ tribute to grit and perseverance through the comedic lens of colour-blind casting, giving the narrative new life for a woke age. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland