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Speech: Ryall - New Christchurch blood centre announcement


Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health


4 December 2012 Speech Notes
New Christchurch blood centre announcement

Thank you for inviting me here today to make this exciting announcement.

It is my pleasure to announce the New Zealand Blood Service, in partnership with Ngāi Tahu Property, is building a new blood donor and laboratory centre here in Christchurch.

The new centre, which is planned to open its doors in just over two years’ time, will be a purpose designed building that will house a donor centre, manufacturing and testing laboratories, specialised warehousing and support offices.

The development will follow the successful public-private partnership model used for the Auckland blood centre.

The centre will be built by Ngāi Tahu Property on their vacant site in Addington and leased by NZ Blood Service.

Construction is expected to commence by the middle of next year and the centre will open at the beginning of 2015.

Christchurch redevelopment - a priority for the government

We are committed to rebuilding Christchurch.

In September, Cabinet approved the redevelopment of the Canterbury District Health Board’s hospitals – with the total cost expected to be more than half a billion dollars.

This project will be the largest hospital build in the history of New Zealand’s public health service.

Cabinet has approved $10 million initially to develop the final business plan and also to fast track the design and begin work to redevelop Burwood Hospital.

The final business plan will establish the best option to build additional operating theatres, replace around 500 beds including purpose designed space for children, an expanded intensive care unit and emergency department at Christchurch Hospital and a new hospital for older people’s health at Burwood.

Many of Canterbury DHB’s facilities were damaged in the earthquakes and must be redeveloped to meet current and future needs.
This is also the case for the Christchurch NZ Blood Service.

The Christchurch NZ Blood Service has been in their current premises for nearly 15 years. As demand for services have grown and new technologies have become available – the facility is now too small.

There are also concerns about the seismic rating, weather tightness issues and the problematic donor access following the earthquakes.

The new centre is important for the long term future of the NZ Blood Service to ensure the on-going blood supply to NZ health services.

NZ Blood Service – an integral part of modern medicine

The NZ Blood Service has been the only provider of blood and blood product in New Zealand since 1998.

80 per cent of us will need blood treatment at some point in our lives.

The Blood Service and the country’s donors do an excellent job and are an integral part of modern medicine.

In 2011/12 NZ Blood Service collected 181,800 blood donations from 126,000 volunteer blood donors – just over 3 per cent of the population.

New Zealand is proudly self-sufficient in safe blood and blood products, based on voluntary non-remunerated blood donation – a position promoted by the World Health Organisation

Our Blood Service provides blood treatments for 115 New Zealanders a day – more than one in every five donations is now used in the treatment of cancer.

The NZ Blood Service also provides services for the matching of patients and donors prior to organ/tissue transplant and the provision of tissue banking (skin and bone) and stem cell services.

Christchurch blood centre – a regional hub

The new centre will have more donor beds to meet the growing demand for plasma. It will also provide a more comfortable environment for the local donors.

It is one of the four major collection and manufacturing hubs in the country – the other centres are in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington.

The regional hub model has many benefits - one being that if one hub is out of action the other hubs are able to continue to process, test and distribute blood donations.

This was the case following the Christchurch earthquake – the Auckland blood centre was able to handle blood donations and manufacturing and distribute blood products to the South Island, while the Christchurch centre was temporality closed.

It is a great location on the south western corner of Hagley Park with good access to both Christchurch Hospital and to the airport and public transport options for donors.

I look forward to opening this new facility in Christchurch in just over two years’ time.