Melanoma affects many New Zealanders
Melanoma is one of the most common cancers in New Zealand. In 2015, melanoma was the 4th most commonly registered cancer, and the 6th most common cancer death.
In 2017, there were 2,550 melanoma registrations in New Zealand. The melanoma registration rate has stayed higher for males than females since 2001  (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Melanoma registration rate, by sex, 2001–2017 (age-standardised rate per 100,000)
362 people died from melanoma in 2016
In 2016, 362 people died from melanoma in New Zealand. The mortality rate has stayed consistently higher for males than females (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Melanoma mortality rate, by sex, 2001–2016 (age-standardised rate per 100,000)
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world
New Zealand and Australia have the highest rates of melanoma incidence and mortality in the world (Figures 3a & 3b).
Figure 3a: Estimated melanoma incidence rates by country, 2018 (rate per 100,000)
Figure 3b: Estimated melanoma mortality rates by country, 2018 (rate per 100,000)
People of European/Other ethnicity have higher rates of melanoma
People of European/Other ethnicity have much higher rates of melanoma than any other prioritised ethnic group (Figure 4). In 2017, the age-standardised registration rate for this group was 45.3 per 100,000, the next highest rate being 7.5 per 100,000 for Māori.
Figure 4: Melanoma registrations, by prioritised ethnic group, 10-year moving averages for 2001-2017 (age-standardised rates per 100,000)
Information about the data
Melanoma cancer registrations and deaths
Source: Ministry of Health – New Zealand Cancer Registry, New Zealand Mortality Collection.
Definition: Melanoma is defined as melanoma of the skin registrations (ICD-10 C43) in the New Zealand Cancer Registry. Rates are per 100,000 people, and have been age-standardised to the WHO world standard population.
Global melanoma statistics
Source: Global Cancer Observatory, 2018 
1. Ministry of Health. 2016. Cancer: Historical summary 1948–2013. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
2. Global Cancer Observatory. 2018:Global Cancer Observatory: Cancer Today. Retrieved March 2020, from https://gco.iarc.fr/today