Organ donation and transplantation

In New Zealand, there are many more people waiting for an organ transplant than there are organs available. Organ transplantation saves lives for people in organ failure. Donation is a very special gift that makes a difference. It offers valuable second chances and dramatically changes lives.

If there were more donors, many more people could benefit from life-saving transplants. New Zealand’s rate of deceased organ donation is increasing but is still relatively low compared with rates in other countries. New Zealand has a unique cultural make-up and provides geographical challenges to organ retrieval and transplant, but some countries have achieved significant improvements in their rate of organ donation after introducing comprehensive strategies.

Increasing Deceased Organ Donation and Transplantation: A National Strategy is focused on increasing the donation of deceased organs, but not at any cost. Organ donation occurs in the context of human tragedy, involving grieving families/whānau at a time of great stress in an intensive care unit (ICU). Deceased organ donation relies on a decision made by family/whānau to donate a loved one’s organs for the benefit of people whom they are unlikely to ever meet.

Organ Donation and Transplantation newsletter

This newsletter gives a progress update on the Ministry of Health’s current areas of focus and progress.

January 2018

Organ Donation and Transplantation: January 2018 (PDF, 482 KB)

In this issue:

  • Compensation for live organ donors
  • Implementing the deceased organ donor strategy
  • Expanded ICU link roles
  • National deceased organ donation agency

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