Resort loves drop of red stuff

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A huge logistical exercise is under way to manage Queens­town’s love of giving blood.

The New Zealand Blood Service rolls into town next Tuesday and Wednesday at the Memorial Hall and locals are lining up to get a limited spot.

Giving blood isn’t just popular among adults here – it’s become a hit with Wakatipu High students too, says Dunedin-based donor recruiter Karen Taylor.

Taylor’s organised a special “school shuttle” and allocated times for up to 25 spaces for the students – last year they arrived en masse, creating a “bottleneck” with the public also coming in.

“Their enthusiasm was much appreciated last year, this year we’ve managed to harness that and organise it a little better,” she says.

The blood collection runs next Tuesday from 12.30pm-6.30pm and on Wednesday from 7.30am-10am.

It’s the first of two collections held each year, with the other in October.

Aside from seeing a targeted 120 donors here, Taylor has to coordinate shipping the blood out to the South Island’s only processing plant in Christchurch within 22 hours.

Two Air NZ flights will freight Queenstown blood, while another batch goes to Dunedin overnight for chilling before also being flown to Christchurch.

The service gets a “fantastic response” from Queenstown donors, Taylor says.

“We seem to always manage to get over our target.

“But we’re always looking for new people in each area to come on board because we’re always losing people for whatever reason.”

She encourages donors to make appointments by phone or online to secure a spot.

“It’s looking quite good already – there’re already a few appointments booked up.”