Mid Central Health says it could be the middle of the year before its oncology team is up to full strength.
The district health board, which runs a regional cancer service covering the central North Island, is not offering chemotherapy for 14 types of cancer until it can fill two specialist vacancies.
The Cancer Society says an overhaul of treatment services is needed and says the treatment patients receive shouldn't depend on where they live.
But Mid Central says it does not believe that any re-organisation of cancer services is needed.
Chief medical officer Kenneth Clark says at the moment, the reality is that patients get different treatment depending on where they live.