A Kiwi woman injured in a lawnmower explosion in Rarotonga has undergone surgery and is out of her induced coma.

Nikki Delaney, 31, suffered serious burns to her upper body in the explosion, and was airlifted from the Cook Islands to Middlemore Hospital on Saturday.

The former Wellington woman suffered severe burns to her face and hands and will require ongoing treatment to recover.

Brother Jordan Delaney said this morning that Ms Delaney was now breathing by herself, and was conscious but still heavily sedated.


"She's woken up a few times and tried to string sentences together. She knows where she is and that there's lots of family around her."

Ms Delaney had surgery on her hands at the weekend and may go back into theatre for further skin grafts today. However doctors wanted to ensure she continued to breathe by herself, so would make a decision later in the day.

A Givealittle page established to fund the medical flight that Ms Delaney took back to New Zealand had now raised $23,000. The family were hoping to raise enough to pay back the $58,000 loaned to them by a family friend to pay for the the emergency medical flight.

Ms Delaney has worked with disabled children in Wellington at Kimi Ora School and in the Cook Islands.

"Nikki deserves proper treatment so she can make a full recovery so she can continue sharing all her knowledge and helping our next generation of children grow and shine past their challenges they need to overcome," Jordan wrote on the Givealittle page.

"This will be the same for Nikki - she will have to overcome a lot to come back from this injury but with all of our family and her friends we will see Nikki overcome this."