Woman fights for life after lawnmower explosion

  • 11/10/2015
Nikki Delaney (Facebook)
Nikki Delaney (Facebook)

A New Zealand teacher has been airlifted home after being burned when a lawnmower exploded in Rarotonga.

But her family faces a huge bill for the evacuation.

Nikki Delaney, 31, was airlifted from the Cook Islands to Middlemore Hospital in Auckland yesterday.

She was in the hospital's intensive care unit in a stable condition on Sunday, a spokeswoman for Counties Manukau District Health Board said.

Ms Delaney worked with disabled children at Kimi Ora School in Wellington before heading to the Cook Islands where she continued working with disabled children, her brother Jordan Delaney says on a givealittle.co.nz page the family have set up to raise money for her.

She was on life support in the hospital in the Cook Islands before her return to New Zealand and has been put into an induced coma, the page says.

She has burns to her upper body.

Ms Delaney was at her home in Rarotonga on Thursday when her lawnmower caught fire and exploded, Fairfax reports.

A family friend loaned money to cover the cost of the air ambulance, reported to be $58,000.

The family is now trying to raise $50,000 and the page has raised $15,600 so far.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it did not fund repatriations for medical evacuations.

He said staff had been in contact with Ms Delaney's family to provide advice.

"All New Zealanders who travel and live overseas are encouraged to take out comprehensive travel insurance," he said.