Māori leader supports Govt call for more organ donors

By Talisa Kupenga

A Māori leader supports the Government's move to try and increase the number of deceased organ donors in New Zealand. Consultation starts today to try and better the country's donor rate and Hāpai Te Hauora's Rangi McLean says Māori should consider getting on board to help other Māori who may be in need.

This Māori leader has recently opted to become an organ donor when he dies and says other Māori should consider following suit.

Hāpai Te Hauora’s Rangi McLean says "recently my views on this have changed and I support this cause in knowing that it could save another's life."

Māori are among the lowest organ donors in the world, partly due to cultural and spiritual beliefs. In the past I had my reservations partly because my elders told me 'we were born with everything, therefore, we should die with everything'," McLean says.

The number of deceased Māori organ donors increased from three donors in 2013 to five last year. While there was only a total of two Pasifika donors for the same time period.

Minster of Health Jonathan Coleman says the rate of Māori and Polynesian donation needs to be higher.
“At the moment there is a huge need for donors in New Zealand and it would be great to get those numbers raised right across the board."

McLean says "each person has their own views and beliefs,” and the benefits of organ donations in recent years speaks for itself.
"My own relatives, as well as Sir Pita Sharples' wife, have all benefited from organ donors, so my message to Māori is to support this cause."

Only time will tell if an increase in Māori organ donors is likely moving forward.