13 Jul 2016

Shortage of Pacific people donating in NZ

11:04 am on 13 July 2016

More education about donating blood and bone marrow is needed to break cultural misconceptions in New Zealand's Pacific communities.

A spokesperson for the New Zealand Blood Service, Nephi Arthur, said there was a shortage of Pacific donors and more adult males were desperately needed.

NZ Blood

Photo: RNZ / Gareth Thomas

The country's blood service had access to over 23 million European donors world-wide compared to about 2000 Pacific donors on their registry.

Mr Arthur said many families had cultural misunderstandings about giving blood and bone marrow and there needed to be more discussion on the issue.

"A lot of the time they get quite shy in coming forward but we can't spread the word unless we've got stories to be able to tell and say 'hey, you know this could be your Uncle, your Aunty, your cousin who needs the bone marrow transplant."