Organ donors to receive compensation for lost earnings

People who are willing and able to donate a kidney, or part of a liver, will receive financial help from Tuesday.

It's part of ongoing efforts to boost organ donation numbers and cut long waiting lists.

From Tuesday, anyone who donates will be fully compensated for lost earnings as a result of their surgery. They'll receive 100 percent of their salary for up to 12 weeks while they recover. This compensation is also backdated for those who donated in the past year.

Last month Mark Denver donated his kidney to his 11-year-old nephew. 

"He's pretty sick, so it was a simple decision really," he told Newshub. "It's what he needed, a lifesaving decision." 

Knowing that his sacrifice wouldn't cost him financially made Ms Denver's decision that much easier.

"It's definitely a stress for every family to think about where your income's coming from."  

Most donors are close family or friends. This scheme is designed to remove any financial barrier that might stop someone donating, according to Clare Perry from the Ministry of Health. 

"The key thing is to give people comfort when they're donating, and to not worry too much about their income," she says.

There are currently more than 700 people waiting for a kidney, and 26 waiting for a liver. Last year there were just 82 live kidney donors on top of another 61 deceased donors, leaving hundreds of people in limbo.

The Kidney Health Foundation says donors being fully compensated takes away a major obstacle. 

"I think the new legislation will be great," says Carmen Gregan-Ford. 

"It'll be more of an incentive for people to consider donating who were perhaps held back because of their income. Also the fact they can make a difference in someone's life is huge."