New blood donor facility to be built

Last updated 08:23 08/12/2012

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A new donation facility will be built in Christchurch to help keep up with increasing demand for blood products.

The New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) is partnering Ngai Tahu Property to build the facility at the old Addington railway workshops site in Lester Ln.

The new centre, which is expected to open in just over two years, will include a donor centre, manufacturing and testing laboratories, specialised warehousing and support offices.

Construction is expected to begin by the middle of next year.

NZBS chief executive Fiona Ritsma said the service had been looking to construct a new building before the Canterbury earthquakes as the current premises in Riccarton Rd had become too small.

The new premises would be twice as big, to enable the service to keep up with technology changes and collection and manufacturing demands, including the increasing demand for plasma, she said.

Ngai Tahu Property would build the new facility and the NZBS would lease it for at least the next 30 years.

Health Minister Tony Ryall said the development followed the successful public-private partnership model used for the Auckland blood centre.

Ngai Tahi Property chief executive Tony Sewell said he did not particularly like the term private- public partnership, but he hoped there would be more opportunities for similar "alliances" in the future since Ngai Tahu were "very interested" in being involved with integrated health hubs.

BY THE NUMBERS:

181,000 blood donations collected from 126,000 volunteer blood donors in the year to 2012

80 per cent of New Zealanders will need blood treatment at some point in their lives

115 New Zealanders receive blood treatments provided by the New Zealand Blood Service every day

More than one in five donations are now used in the treatment of cancer

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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