Auckland City Hospital's critical care unit have rallied together to send a $720 donation to Whakatāne Hospital staff involved in the tragic events of Monday's White Island eruption.

Hand-painted messages from local schools, pizzas from the surgical unit at Tauranga Hospital and special packages from the public have also been gifted.

A Whakatāne Hospital spokeswoman said staff had been overwhelmed with the love and support since the devastating eruption.

Janine Rouse, nurse unit manager for the Department of Critical Care Medicine (DCCM) at Auckland City Hospital, said they wanted to show support for their colleagues at Whakatane Hospital during this emotional and challenging time.


"When our nurses phoned Whakatane Hospital to let them know we'd raised the money, they were very appreciative.

"They asked if they could instead use the money for a commemorative painting and plaque that will acknowledge the team's hard work during this time.

"We think it's a wonderful idea and we're happy the money is going towards something that will acknowledge those involved," Rouse said.

Whakatāne Hospital co-ordinator and duty nurse manager David van Dijk said he wanted to acknowledge the support that they've received from colleagues in DHBs around the country.

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"Your kindness and generosity has meant a lot to us at this time.

"I couldn't be more proud of how our hospital and wider community came together to do what we could for those people," van Dijk said.

Whakatāne Hospital clinical leader Dr Heike Hundemer said staff had been deeply affected by what they saw.


"We are a tight team, in a small community some of those people who have lost their lives were known to our staff.

"I've worked in major centres in Germany as well as New Zealand, I've never seen this number of critically injured patients coming into an emergency department in a short space of time."

Hundemer said it was important to her to give some comfort to every patient she treated that day.

"I told them they were in good hands with a professional team.

"We are professionals and compassionate people, those people we treated and comforted will forever stay in our minds.

"Our thoughts are with them, we feel for them, their families and friends."