Clowns who have put smiles on the faces of Kiwi hospital patients will be hanging up their wigs for now until they secure more funding.

Professor Thomas Petschener and his team of 32 clowns have brought fun and happiness to 150,000 Kiwi hospital patients and their families over the past nine years.

Petschner said the past year had been difficult.

Two of Clown Doctors NZ's entertainers Hannah McQuilkan as Dr Strut-Her-Stuff and Stephen Hollins as Dr. P P Roni. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Two of Clown Doctors NZ's entertainers Hannah McQuilkan as Dr Strut-Her-Stuff and Stephen Hollins as Dr. P P Roni. Photo / Sarah Ivey

"Clown Doctors NZ has been using reserve funds for several months in a bid to maintain services, but they have now been exhausted," he said.

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"This is despite the best efforts of our fundraising and our wonderful partners who have contributed so much to our organisation."

Petschner hopes to restructure the trust that funds the clown programme and maybe get more funding.

"We, the many families we help and the health professionals who witness our work, have all been saddened by the lack of funds to maintain our children's programme.

"However, we remain hopeful and our mission remains the same - to bring joy and laughter to children suffering health problems and to support healthy ageing.

"We will continue this mission in the same passionate and professional way we have always demonstrated, but under a new model."

• Go to Clown Doctors NZ website.