NZDF

A Christmas gift we hope doesn't get opened

The NZ Defence Force has boosted the NZ Blood Service’s stock of blood heading into the busy Christmas period.
OH 10-0748-001: A soldier in Linton donates during the Linton blood drive.

16 December, 2010

The NZ Defence Force has boosted the NZ Blood Service’s stock of blood heading into the busy Christmas period.

In a new initiative called Blood Brothers, Defence Force people around the country were encouraged to donate blood in an effort to secure new donors. In the last year the NZ Blood Service has experienced a decline in new donor numbers over 20 percent compared to the previous year.

The amount of units collected during the Blood Brothers campaign could save up to an estimated 1400 lives over and beyond the Christmas period says Communications Manager for the NZ Blood Service Paul Hayes.

“It’s always a good thing when we can work closely with another big organisation to promote the idea of donating blood to help people in our communities,” says Mr Hayes.

“The fact that we have had such a good contribution from members of the Defence Force has helped us build up stocks of blood prior to Christmas. We need these stocks as the need for blood does not take a holiday.”

The Defence Force campaign ran throughout November and December and was planned extend into the NZ Blood Service busy season over Christmas and New Year. The Blood Service visited numerous military bases across the country including Burnham, Woodbourne, Trentham, Linton, Waiouru, Whenuapai as well as Defence HQ in Wellington.

Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae says there is an obvious connection for the Defence Force with the Blood Service, and a large number of Defence Force people were already regular blood donors.

“Encouraging our Defence people to give blood wasn’t hard,” he says. “They know you never can tell when people close to you might be in need of a life-saving blood transfusion. Of course this is one Christmas gift we hope isn't needed.”

ENDS

For further information contact Defence Communications, Zen Gregor on 021 840 358

This page was last reviewed on 16 January 2011.