Rotorua Hospital Children's Unit staff were "absolutely blown away" when they received a gift-wrapped cheque and presents for the children.

Lakes District Health Board was presented with the cheque for $34,000 at Countdown Fairy Springs today, raised during the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal.

The 11-week appeal raised $1.174m for 11 children's hospitals nationwide.

Store manager Steve Green, who presented the cheque, said the money would go towards vital equipment for Rotorua Hospital.


Mr Green said the appeal opened with a national raffle and in-store raffles.

Mufti days, sausage sizzles and hundreds of different things had been run this year to raise money, he said.

Local Countdown stores also donated presents to the playroom in the unit, giving children items they had put on their wish list.

"This makes me really proud as a manager."

Children's Unit clinical nurse manager Bridget Wilson said staff were "absolutely delighted".

She said the money would go towards items such as an accuvein, a cough assist machine, an interactive TV educational machine and modernising a few things.

She said there was some innovative equipment which would help keep children in Rotorua and their homes, rather than in hospital.

"We are really looking forward to hearing some of the children's and families' feedback."

She said it nearly brought the unit staff at the presentation to tears when the wish list presents were announced.

"It will feel like Christmas to us as a team."