25 Jan 2013

Call for funeral grant to encourage more organ donations

6:36 pm on 25 January 2013

Organ donor campaigners say the Government should offer funeral grants to donors' families in a bid to boost New Zealand's poor donor rate.

New figures from Organ Donation New Zealand show there were only 38 organ donors in 2012, or nine per million head of population, compared with 32 per million in Spain.

GiveLife group spokesperson Andy Tookey said the rate is the same as 10 years ago, despite a government funding boost of $4 million to Organ Donation New Zealand last year.

Mr Tookey said the Minister of Health is putting all his eggs in one basket by funding the donor service without considering other options.

He said more people would be prepared to consider donating if they knew their families would be relieved of the burden of funeral expenses.