Stocks at the New Zealand Blood Service's blood bank are set to swell after last week's donor drive.

But it's not too late to sign up to become a blood donor - and an instant life saver . The service still needs to recruit hundreds more donors to reach its target of enlisting 3500 new donors by the end of the year.

Each year the blood service requires 20,000 new donors to replace those who leave the list for a variety of reasons; including travel overseas, age, ill health and pregnancy.

Last week - during the 'Know Your Type' campaign - at least 422 people signed up as new donors; during the same period last year just 146 people signed up.


The 'Know Your Type' events encouraged Kiwis to undergo a simple and painless pin-prick test to check what their blood type was, and then consider becoming a donor.

"The need for blood is constant, there is no alternative for people in need of blood and blood products," Asuka Burge, the NZBS's national manager marketing and communications said.

"To ensure every New Zealander has access to a safe supply of blood and blood products when they need them, we need eligible people to stand-up and demonstrate they are the type to save a life.

"We hope to see more new donors continue to book appointments over the next few weeks to achieve our goal of 3500 new donors by the end of 2017."

Burge described the response to the campaign as "incredible".

She said the campaign had "started a conversation" about blood donations across the country.

"Not many people get up one morning and suddenly think 'today I'm going to become a blood donor'," she said.

"For most people it's a gradual thought process, which is why a campaign like this is so important we need more people to start thinking about becoming a donor and taking action.


"The feedback we are getting from our donor centres across the country has been very positive, people across the country are showing they are the type to save a life - which is amazing."

She thanked both those who signed up as donors, as well as the service's partners; including NZME who was the official media partner of the campaign.

"The NZBS would like to thank NZME for the massive support throughout the week," she said.


•New Zealand donors gave blood a total 164,000 times between July 2016-June 2017
•Last year donors saved and improved the lives of 27,000 New Zealanders - about 74 people a day
•Each year about 20,000 people leave the donor registry for a number of reasons; including age, ill health, pregnancy, overseas travel and personal choice
•Those defections have to be replaced to keep up with demand
•85 per cent of our population are A and O blood groups, the types most in demand
•More than 50 per cent of Kiwis don't know what their blood type is
•Just 4 per cent of the eligible population are donors; 109,202 New Zealanders
•111,146 whole blood units were collected in 2016-17
•One whole blood donation has the potential to save three lives
•You can donate whole blood every three months
•Whole blood donations (red cell component) only last 35 days
•Platelets must be transfused within seven days of collection
•Plasma can be frozen for up to two years and blood products made from plasma can be stored for up to two years

Source: The New Zealand Blood Service