The Government has announced it will consider giving Middlemore Hospital extra funding to help victims of the Whakaari/White Island eruption - hours after the hospital's charity arm made a public plea for donations.

The hospital hosts the National Burns Service and its charity, the Middlemore Foundation, has been flooded with offers of money and equipment since the disaster.

Eight of the 14 patients from last week's disaster are being cared for at Middlemore and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited its wards on Thursday.

White Island eruption: Sydney teen faces finding out his entire immediate family has died
White Island eruption: Two missing bodies likely washed out to sea
White Island tragedy: Mother and daughter die in bitter twist of fate
Teen tragedy: White Island victim's legacy will 'never dim'


While the Counties Manukau District Health Board – which runs the hospital – says it has adequate equipment and resources to deal with the immediate clinical situation, National Burns Service co-ordinator Tracey Perrett said donations would go towards helping the long-term support to burns victims.

Middlemore Foundation chief executive Sandra Geange said the money would in particular be helpful for getting additional ultrasound and skin-graft equipment.

"The burns unit put through a year's work in a single day, so at the moment there's no ceiling at what is needed. And it will go on, because it's not a short-term fix," she said.

"There's a great need at the moment."

Perrett said the victims faced lengthy recoveries.

"There will be repeated trips to theatre and a long stay in hospital, during which time patients may face physical and geographic isolation."

In a statement, Health Minister David Clark said the Government was now considering extra money to help the hospital and the victims.

"Additional funding to support Counties Manukau DHB's care of Whakaari/White Island patients is certainly something the Government will be looking at," he said.


DHB chairman Mark Gosche said calls for donations didn't reflect a funding problem.

"It just reflects what people want to do. Lots of people are wanting to help and donate," he said.

"It's just that people want to help and clearly we've never experienced an event of this nature for the National Burns Service."

Geange said the Middlemore Foundation – which runs independently of the hospital's board – had been collecting money for the hospital and burns unit for 20 years and was similar to others around the country.

"Sometimes it's just to close the gap between what the Government provides and what is actually needed," she said