Becoming a live organ donor

Deciding to become a live organ donor is a big decision. To be able to donate an organ you will need to have medical tests and checks to make sure this type of surgery is suitable for you.

Organ donation and becoming a donor

To donate an organ:

  • you do not have to be a New Zealand citizen
  • you may be able make a donation if you live overseas.

There is assistance for eligible donors including:

  • financial assistance for travel and accommodation
  • compensation for loss of earnings after surgery.

Your district hospital donor liaison coordinator supports you through the whole donation process.

Who you can donate to

You can donate a kidney to a member of your whānau, a friend or a person you do not know.

Directed donation

Directed donation is when you donate to someone you know, like a whānau member or a friend. It is called this because you 'direct' that your kidney goes to a particular person.

Altruistic or non-directed donation

Altruistic or non-directed donation is when you donate to someone you do not know. In this case, you cannot say who receives your kidney. The kidney will be given to the next best-matched patient on the kidney organ waiting list.

Directed live liver donation

Directed live liver donation usually involves a parent donating part of their liver to their tamaiti (child). Live liver donation is much less common than live kidney donation because of the higher risk of complications to the donor.

For this reason, non-directed live liver donation is not supported in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Getting started

Follow these steps to apply to be an organ donor.
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