In a bid to calm the chaos, the waiting area at Starship Hospital's Emergency Department has been kitted out with new interactive technology to keep children occupied.

The fit-out includes two feature walls and a larger space for patients and their families to wait.

Isabel Gilbert, 9, is all too familiar with Starship - she's been in and out of the hospital since she was just 4 weeks old.

She was born with a rare genetic condition called chondrodysplasia punctata, a form of dwarfism.


"I had an extra finger, a shorter leg, I had a shorter arm, scoliosis in my spine and I had a cataract in my eye."

Isabel can recall all five of her operations, with her most recent in March this year.

"They took a big frame that was on my leg off. So it went like round, and then they took it off by pulling the pins out that were in my leg and they took all of these stuff off. And then I got another brace."

She thinks other kids will love the new fit-out.

"My favourite is when they take your temperature they have a clever cache that's in the shower. As your temperature gets higher, the shower gets warmer," she laughed.

The project, which has been two years in the making, has just been finished.

Starship Medical and Community director Dr Mike Shepherd told NZH Focus the now-more user friendly and vibrant space will help to not just calm children, but accommodate larger families and assist staff as well.

"We've got a fantastic facility now, so we are so lucky with the generous donations from ASB and their customers as well as the work we've done with the foundation," he says.

He says the interactive walls will help the children start to understand what's going to happen next and better prepare them for the road ahead.

"Our health statistics aren't as good as they should be. And I think there's urgency to improve upon those as well as to continue to advance along at the speed as the world.. Our ambition is to be ahead."

Starship Foundation chief executive Aisha Daji Punga says they've set ambitious targets to generate $20 million per year by 2023.

Isabel too, has big ambitions.

"I want to be able to go on the trampoline and swim better. At the moment I can swim but my kicks don't give me much power."