Organ donation Bill hoped to encourage donors
There's fresh hope for a Bill which would provide financial support for live donors and is currently before Parliament.
It follows the country's first three-way kidney transplant which allowed three live donors to be matched with compatible recipients.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says live donors are in short supply.
"That Bill is going through because we need to make sure that people who are prepared to altruistically donate organs aren't going to be any financially worse off."
Dr Coleman hopes the recent three-way kidney exchange, the first in New Zealand, gives hope for live donors, but says the issue of deceased donations needs to be addressed.
New Zealand is lagging behind Australia, Israel and Spain for rates of organ donation, he says, and hospitals here don't have a culture of asking people to donate their deceased loved ones' organs.
"Where they have high deceased organ donation rates it's become part of the normal conversation around hospitals, rather than a massive shock."
Kidney Health New Zealand spokesperson Carmel Gregan Ford says the new three-way donation approach will break barriers for access.
"It certainly raises awareness and probably makes other donors think, 'Even though I didn't match my partner I can probably match someone else and help them in the long run as well'."
She says the new approach will help relieve the financial pressure on DHBs by taking patients off dialysis.
"For someone to have a transplant and then not be on dialysis anymore and be able to have hopefully a more productive life, then it's certainly an economic win for both sides."
There were 147 kidney transplants carried out in 2015.