Robert Young, of Queenstown, is a loyal blood donor, having
donated more than 50 times. Photo by Christina McDonald.
Despite only 4% of the eligible New Zealand population
rolling up their sleeves and donating blood, the New Zealand
Blood Service was inundated with Queenstown donors on
The service visits the resort twice a year, but not in
winter, in case bad weather prevents the blood collected
being transported out.
More than 90 people registered to give blood at St Margaret's
Presbyterian Church hall, in Frankton, and in total 76 units
of blood were collected. New Zealand Blood Service donor
recruiter Leita Mackay said several more people turned up but
time was limited and for safety reasons the service can only
take a few extra donors each hour in addition to booked
Ms Mackay said the service needed to get the blood on a
flight to Christchurch to be processed within 24 hours which
meant it was unable to keep collecting. The service was also
working towards a target based on predicted demand.
Ms Mackay said it was pleasing to have new donors because
that ''is what we need to ensure we maintain a steady
database here in Queenstown''.
However, many donors were loyal supporters. Robert Young
(61), of Queenstown, has given blood more than 50 times and
he was doing so again on Wednesday.
Mr Young said he began donating in the early '80s and his
father was also a donor.
''My son has had lots of transfusions over the years - it's
my way of giving back.
''There's such a huge need for it [and] I encourage anybody
that can, to turn up.''
The process was not ''a huge deal'', merely a ''short pin
prick'', he said.
Each blood donation has the potential to save up to three
Ms Mackay encouraged donors to book ahead if possible by
visiting the website: www.nzblood.co.nz or by phoning
The service will next be in Queenstown on October 23.