Professional boxer Joseph Parker visits students of Papakura's Redhill Primary School, putting weight behind Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal Professional boxer Joseph Parker visits students of Papakura's Redhill Primary School, putting weight behind Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal CREDIT: Undertow Media NZ

Countdown to raise more than $1 million for kids hospitals

Thursday 8 August 2019, 6:19AM
By Undertow Media NZ

Countdown’s Kids Hospital Appeal is in full swing and hopes to raise more than $1 million for sick and recovering children and teens around the country.

Since the Appeal began in 2007, Countdown and its customers have donated $12.8 million for medical equipment and other initiatives in children’s hospitals and wards.

This year, one of the initiatives Countdown is aiming to help fund is the expansion of the Middlemore Foundation’s Mana-ā-riki programme into Manurewa, Auckland.  More than 3100 children in Manurewa are hospitalised each year for preventable illnesses, and children under four years old have a rate of preventable hospitalisation exceeded only by those aged over 75.

Middlemore Foundation CEO, Sandra Geange, says Mana-ā-riki focuses on providing accessible healthcare for families, and aims to help detect and prevent potentially life-threatening diseases such as cardiac rheumatic fever.

“Mana-ā-riki takes an holistic, integrated approach which simultaneously tackles issues in health, education and homes, with a child’s wellbeing at the heart of the programme.  We piloted the programme in Papakura with notable successes including a reduction in preventable illnesses in schools.  Funding from the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal is enabling us to expand Mana-ā-riki to Manurewa, and help reduce hospitalisation and improve lifelong outcomes for tamariki and their whānau,” says Sandra Geange.

New Zealand heavyweight boxer and Mana-ā-riki ambassador Joseph Parker is excited about seeing the programme expanded to Manurewa to help more Kiwi kids.

“I’ve seen first-hand how this programme can help make Papakura kids happier and healthier.  Growing up in the area means that I feel strongly about giving these kids a fighting chance, so it’s great to see the programme expanded to Manurewa,” says Parker.

Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability, Kiri Hannifin, says Countdown is humbled by the generosity of its customers and the fundraising efforts of supermarket teams throughout New Zealand. 

“Together our team and customers help make such a significant difference to thousands of sick Kiwi kids and their whānau. Whether it’s a vision screening device for Christchurch Hospital, a giraffe warmer for Waikato’s neo-natal unit, or simply play equipment for Whangarei Hospital’s whānau house, this year’s Appeal aims to help make a child’s stay easier.  Even the smallest comforts can make a real difference and we are really proud to help do that for our communities,” says Kiri Hannifin.

Launching nationwide this week, Countdown stores will be working alongside their local children’s wards to host fundraising activities, as well as selling raffle tickets in-store and accepting customer donations at checkouts. The Appeal runs until 27 October.

Countdown customers can get behind the Appeal by:

Visiting any Countdown supermarket and donating at the checkout
Buying a raffle ticket in-store
Getting involved in local store fundraising activities
Donating online by selecting Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal as a product with your Countdown online shopping

For more information on the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal visit or enquire at your local Countdown store.

This year, Countdown stores around the country are fundraising for the following:

Hospital Wishlist 2019

Northland: Whānau house play equipment

Waitakere: A parent room for the special care baby unit

KidzFirst Middlemore: Expansion of Mana-ā-riki to Manurewa

Waikato: Giraffe warmers and monitoring equipment for neonatal care

Bay of Plenty: Giraffe warmer, tactile toy, sleep system and oral hygiene packs for children in the Bay of Plenty

Gisborne: Completion of Planet Sunshine playground

Hawkes Bay: Neonatal care equipment, hearing aid restoration equipment

Taranaki Base Hospital: Babylog ventilator

Palmerston North: Electrical breast pumps, and maternity and parent recliner chairs

Wairarapa: Blood pressure monitors and alarmed mattresses

Hutt Hospital: Painting of children’s ward and renovation of treatment room

Wellington: Beds for the new Wellington Children’s Hospital

Nelson and Marlborough: Teaching mannequin and children’s toys for comfort

Greymouth: Various neonatal and children’s equipment

Christchurch: Children’s sleep monitor and various equipment

Timaru: Specialist recliner chair and breast pumps

Otago: iPads for distraction in ED, blood analyser and specialist resuscitation equipment

Invercargill: Infant transportation equipment and specialised monitors