Latest Starship news and projects.

Latest Starship news and projects.

Customer donations help us help the kids at Starship. Below you'll find stories on how Mercury customer donations have helped.

Don't forget, it’s easy to add a small donation to your monthly bill and you can make a real impact for our kiwi kids too.



Avery's Story

In February, 3 year old Avery was in a horrific car crash in the Manawatu and was rushed to Palmerston North Hospital. She’d suffered head, leg, and spinal injuries, and she was bleeding internally. There was only one place in New Zealand that could give her specialist treatment. She was admitted to the National Children’s ICU at Starship where she battled severe injuries. Under the watchful eye of Starship specialists, Avery has made a remarkable recovery.

Since then, Avery has made great progress. Receiving swift access to the best possible care at Starship has given Avery fantastic recovery prospects. Prompt treatment from the experts meant an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for Avery’s injuries. That, in turn, means specialists have said her journey towards walking again is “very, very promising”.

After months of rehabilitation, Avery and mum hope to finally head home in early July.

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EZEKIEL's Story.

Ezekiel Pilimai seemed to be a happy and healthy one-year-old boy when one day everything changed. He couldn’t breathe, he turned blue and limp. He was rushed to Christchurch Hospital where the team discovered that Ezekiel’s lungs had collapsed. He was quickly transferred to Starship’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) to receive specialised care.

“Starship means a lot to our family,” says mum Zoe. “Life is full of surprises and when life turns so suddenly like it did for us it made us realise how incredibly lucky we are to live in a country that has a hospital that focuses on children’s health. Without the specialised care we received we may not have our little boy with us now. So we are, and always will be, so grateful to Starship and what they do for all the families around the country that have found themselves in similar situations.”

Ezekiel is now 3.5 years old and continues to receive follow up care for his unique medical condition in Christchurch.

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Poppy's Starship Christmas.

Baby Poppy's life hung in the balance.

At just three months old, she was having a major cardiac arrest. Poppy's mum, Estelle, remembers exactly what the doctors at her local hospital told her: Poppy's heart is not beating very well, it is not pumping the blood through her body. You have to be transported to Starship.

At Starship, Poppy was diagnosed with a chronic heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. That's when she was rushed into Starship's Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

Poppy stayed in PICU for a total of eight months, including her first Christmas, fighting to get well. Thankfully Poppy is now well enough that she was sent home with her loving family to Hamilton.

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But sadly, many New Zealand families don't. Cold, damp homes lead to over 15,000 kids being admitted to Starship every year with preventable illnesses. That's why the Starship led Healthy Homes initiative was created. Hundreds of families' homes have been, and will continue to be, made warmer and drier with curtains, draught stoppers, heating and blankets.

As a part of this initiative Starship has already provided 4,917 curtains to 429 families in need. 

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By joining forces, our Starship donators have helped fund a magical $3.8m three year transformation of the Outpatients Department. This service sees over 80,000 outpatients per year, looking after fracture clinics, x-rays, plastering and other outpatient surgical procedures. The updated rooms, equipment and staff base have improved patient care, safety and transformed the patient and family experience - providing magical Augmented Reality experiences in waiting areas, the Starship Forest interactive walls magically come alive with movement, sound and interaction resulting in a fun and distracting experience for kids and their families visiting Starship Outpatients.


Now the wonderful experience of the Starship Forest is available in your own home with our new augmented reality app. Download it below to play interactive games while exploring the magic of the forest, home to friendly native birds, plants, insects and more!

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Customer Funded Projects.

The generosity of our customers has helped to fund projects over the years such as:


an amazing $3.8m transformation of this crucial service that sees over 80,000 outpatients every year.

A new portable OCT Eye Scanner

the first of its kind in New Zealand, to help young children at risk of vision loss.

Starship National Air Ambulance

a flying intensive care unit to treat critically ill and injured children from all over the country and transport them to Starship Hospital.

Two specialist emergency transport systems

fitted out with life-saving equipment to bring desperately sick babies to Starship from anywhere in the country.

New Zealand's first laser fetoscope machine

to help save the lives of unborn twins affected by Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome.

A Mobile Ear Clinic

providing free ear checks and specialist ear health services to children in the community.


the pilot phase of this project saw patient waiting times reduced from 12 to 3 months.

New facilities

for children and staff in the new Medical Specialties and Neuroservices wards (Level 6).

Sprout IV poles

providing a colourful and child friendly alternative to the traditional IV poles.

Colourful murals

to brighten the walls of the wards and make the environment more child friendly.

Four heat tables

to keep vulnerable and premature babies warm.

A waiting room outside the operating theatres

where families can wait close by whilst their child is having surgery.

More than 200 dedicated fold-down beds

provided in the rooms for a parent/caregiver to stay with their child in comfort.


assisting children to stand in physical therapy

New simulation 'Nursing Kid' mannequin

including an introduction course and equipment. 

A specialised sensory play trolley called a ‘Snoezelen’ wagon

which can be taken to the rooms of children unable to leave their beds.

The Kari Centre 

was upgraded and transformed.  

The development of world-class clinical skills training programmes

for clinical teams to train and practice their skills.

Consult liaison rooms

had its first upgrade since the hospital was built in 1992 with a new purpose-built play room, an infant feeding therapy room and whanau room.

Vital equipment for the Heart Unit

including an echocardiography system to give surgeons 4D images of the heart.

The Script app

Script for Paediatrics is an app that makes prescribing antibiotics smarter and more efficient.

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