News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


School Children Help Create New Mobile Ear Clinics

Media Release
11 September 2014

For immediate release

School Children Help Create Starship’s Two New Mobile Ear Clinics

ASB funds $500,000 for the fully-equipped vans

An alarm clock, toaster, cow, plane, tui, bell, hot air balloon and iPod are just some of the illustrations adorning Starship’s two new mobile ear clinics that were launched at an Auckland primary school today.

The wonderful designs were a collaboration between artist Sam Mathers and students from Glen Innes Primary School, who were asked to come up with ideas for decorating the ASB-funded vans based on the ‘sounds of Aotearoa’.

The two fully-equipped mobile ear clinics, which were funded by Starship Foundation Five Star Sponsor ASB, cost $500,000.

“Our relationship with Starship is one of our most-cherished sponsorships and we, as an ASB community, are always looking for new ways we can work together to support the fantastic work it does,” says Roger Beaumont, ASB’s Executive General Manager of Marketing and Communications.

“Over the last year, ASB people have come together to fundraise for the Mobile Ear Clinics over a number of campaigns, including term deposit and savings product campaigns and also a Facebook campaign where the amount we donated was determined by our Facebook community, who got right behind us and helped us raise over $28,000 in one day.

“The Mobile Ear Clinics, named Bubble and Squeak by our Facebook community, are a much needed service that will have a big impact on the community and we are proud to be helping improve the ‘hearing health’ of young Aucklanders.”

A team of five nurses staff the mobile ear clinics, visiting early childhood centres and primary schools in the Auckland region to monitor, treat and help prevent childhood ear disease. Around 3,100 children are seen in Starship’s mobile ear clinics each year.

“More than 25 percent of Auckland school children experience ear health issues, which can have a devastating impact on cognitive and social development,” says Starship Ear Nurse Kahn Bury.
“Thanks to ASB’s generous funding of these mobile ear clinics, we’ll be able to get ear health care into the community and reduce the rate of hospital visits.”

More than 60 children from Glen Innes Primary helped launch the mobile ear clinics with a kapa haka performance and wearing t-shirts they’d been gifted bearing a pukeko illustration off one of the vans and the Maori words “Te Waka Taringa Hauora” (The Ear Health Van).


The Starship Foundation is a charity that raises funds so Starship Children’s Health can better care for its young patients. The Starship Foundation raises up to $10 million a year. Donations are extra to Government funding and provide for initiatives such as Starship’s National Air Ambulance Service which brings children from all over New Zealand to Starship for life-saving care, as well as refurbishing older wards, new technology and medical equipment, vital research, boosted family support, staff training and community outreach projects to keep children out of hospital.

ASB has been a five-star sponsor of the Starship Foundation since its inception in 1991. ASB seeks to support the communities in which it operates through a mixture of financial investment, in-kind support and the dedication of our ASB people who volunteer their services. ASB people provide regular support to Starship through volunteering to make journals for parents of newborn babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, donating auction items for fundraisers such as Starship Spring Clean, processing donations and other financial services.

Sam Mathers grew up in Raglan and now lives in Auckland working as a full-time artist. Mathers has been exhibiting work since 2004. While living in London Mathers worked for Sotheby’s moving fine art, a job that influenced Mathers a great deal, as he was constantly handling works by great artists. After returning to New Zealand Mathers held his first solo exhibition in Raglan, followed by another solo exhibition at the Mobile Art Gallery in Auckland. He has created commissioned artworks for Saatchi & Saatchi, The Media Design School, the New School of Architecture and Design in San Diego, and now ASB. Mathers was involved in the inaugural Whittaker’s Big Egg Hunt in 2014 and has exhibited in numerous group art shows throughout New Zealand. His art is now sought after by serious art collectors in New Zealand and abroad.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Chiptunes: Recreating Christmas Carols From Alan Turing's Computer

New Zealand researchers have recreated what is thought to be the first computer-generated Christmas music – exactly as it would have sounded on Alan Turing’s computer. More>>


Gordon Campbell: Best New Music Of 2017

Any ‘best of list’ has to be an exercise in wishful thinking, given the splintering of everyone’s listening habits... But maybe… it could be time for the re-discovery of the lost art of listening to an entire album, all the way through. Just putting that idea out there. More>>

Scoop Review of Books: Ten x Ten - One Hundred of Te Papa's Best-Loved Art Works

An idiosyncratic selection by ten art curators, each of whom have chosen ten of their favourite works. Handsomely illustrated, their choices are accompanied by full-page colour prints and brief descriptions of the work, explaining in straightforward and approachable language why it is of historical, cultural, or personal significance. More>>

Scoop Review of Books: Portacom City - Reporting On Canterbury Earthquakes

In Portacom City Paul Gorman describes his own deeply personal story of working as a journalist during the quakes, while also speaking more broadly about the challenges that confront reporters at times of crisis. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland