New Zealand Blood Service

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
New Zealand Blood Service
Te Ratonga Toto O Aotearoa
New Zealand Blood Service logo.gif
Logo of the New Zealand Blood Service
Agency overview
Formed July 1, 1998 (1998-07-01)
Jurisdiction Government of New Zealand
Headquarters Level 3, 11 Great South Road, Epsom, Auckland
Employees 562[1]
Annual budget $104 million NZD (2014-2015)[1]
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Sam Cliffe, CEO

The New Zealand Blood Service (abbrev: NZBS, in te reo Māori: Te Ratonga Toto O Aotearoa) is the body primarily responsible for blood donation and related services in New Zealand.

Unlike its Australian counterpart, the NZBS is a service operated by the New Zealand Government, not the New Zealand Red Cross.


The New Zealand Blood Service was formed on 1 July 1998 with the primary responsibility of gathering and maintaining safe levels of blood needed to help in a variety of ways. The NZBS was formed under the guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the collection and clinical use and distribution of blood.[2]

Approximately 42,000 New Zealanders need blood or blood products every year and 4% of New Zealanders donate.


Blood testing for infectious diseases.

The NZBS collects more than 120,000 whole blood donations per year, 27,000 apheresis plasma donations and 4,000 apheresis platelet donations to meet the requirements of the New Zealand Health Care System. Whole blood donations are separated in 3 components - Red blood cells, blood plasma and platelets.[3]

To ensure that the blood is safe for the patient and the blood donation process is safe, donors are screened each time before donating to eliminate potential risks. Blood donations themselves are tested for diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, AIDS and HTLV-1. No reliable tests exist for Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) so donations are not accepted from persons who have lived in CJD affected areas such as the United Kingdom, France or the Republic of Ireland between 1980 and 1996.[4]

The New Zealand Blood Service has over the past years, developed close working relations with similar organizations such as:

New Zealand Blood Service is a member of the Asia Pacific Blood Network

This is because these countries are "geographically close in either proximity or terrain" and face similar challenges in blood collecting, testing and distribution. The NZBS also modelled itself after the National Blood Service (NBS) in England and learnt through its revolutionary and evolutionary changes and providing the best methods for delivery of services.[5]

  • NZBS is the appointed body for all issues related to blood for transfusion in New Zealand.
  • NZBS is the organization responsible for all donations and distribution of blood in New Zealand, nationally; New Zealand's blood service is based on a voluntary basis and unpaid donations.
  • NZBS is responsible for all blood from collection to distribution and for other controlled human tissues.
  • NZBS is a not-for-profit Crown Agency responsible to the Minister of Health

Blood collection[edit]

Typical method of blood donation

The NZBS visits high schools, community centres and businesses in towns all over New Zealand and appeals to all eligible donors to give blood. Donations from mobile blood drives account for approximately 50% of the blood collected, with the other 50% collected at the donor centres.

Donor Centres are present at 6 main locations across the country, with 3 centres in Auckland, and one each in Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch. There is also a smaller donor centre in Tauranga with mobile blood drive available to be set up in community centres around the rest of the country.

They also offer a shuttle service to transport donors during blood drives held at various places like school halls and convention centres in towns and cities across New Zealand.

The NZBS also travel to businesses who agree to let NZBS to collect blood from workers through special venues established by both the employer and the NZBS.[6]


External links[edit]