A heart transplant recipient is calling on New Zealanders to have a conversation with their families this Christmas about becoming organ donors.
TVNZ1's Seven Sharp reported Heidi Harty-Eugster might be the hardest person to buy for this Christmas as she could never receive a better gift than the one she got earlier this year. She was the grateful recipient of a heart transplant.
New Zealand needs more registered donors because last year our rate was 15.2 deceased organ donors per million people.
That was half the United States' rate of 32 donors per million and a third of world leaders Spain at 46.9.
"Donor on driver's license is awesome. But it is not a national register, it doesn't effectively mean anything," Mrs Harty-Eugster said.
Her husband Chris pointed out that ultimately it's the family who will decide at the time, and that's often at a time when they're under incredible stress.
Ms Harty-Eugster said that's why it is so important to have the conversation with your family about your wishes.
"It's not an easy conversation, but it's a conversation that's important to be had," she said.