Hospital visiting guidelines updated 16 September 2022: Hospital visitors must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are not acceptable.  See our COVID-19 page for general COVID-19 advice, detailed hospital visiting guidelines and COVID-19 tests.

See for info on vaccinations.

Last updated:
16 September 2022

Fewer visitor restrictions now apply

For visitors to all facilities effective from 16 September 2022

Some visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Te Tai o Poutini West Coast health facilities remain in place, but we have relaxed others.

There is still a heightened risk to vulnerable people in hospital and so people must continue to wear a mask when visiting any of our facilities and follow other advice designed to keep patients, staff and other visitors safe.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is to keep everybody safe:

  • Visitors or support people must not visit our facilities if they are unwell. Do not visit if you have recently tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t completed your isolation period.
  • Patients in single rooms may have more than one visitor while patients in multi-bed rooms can have one visitor only per patient to ensure there is no overcrowding.
  • People can have one or two support people to accompany them to outpatients appointments.
  • Women in labour in a birthing suite, in Te Nīkau Hospital’s Maternity Ward and in Buller’s Kawatiri Maternity Unit can have the usual support people, subject to space, for the duration of their stay in our facilities.
  • Eating or drinking at the bedside is at the discretion of the Clinical Nurse Manager. Visitors must not eat or drink in multibed rooms because of the increased risk when multiple people remove their mask in the same space.
  • Hand sanitiser is available and must be used.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as our staff work hard to protect and care for some of the most vulnerable in our community.

Mask wearing

  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all sites, except in counselling, mental health and addiction services where it’s on a case-by-case agreement with patients. Masks will be provided if you don’t have one. In higher-risk environments, people, including young children, may not be able to visit if they cannot wear a mask.
  • Any member of the public with a mask exemption is welcome in all our facilities when attending to receive health care and *treatment. Please show your mask exemption card and appointment letter to staff at the entrance. *Treatment includes coming into the Emergency Department, outpatient appointments, surgery or a procedure.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • People are able to visit patients who have COVID-19 but they must wear an N95 mask – this will be provided if you don’t have one.
  • Other methods of communication will be facilitated e.g. phone, Facetime, Zoom, WhatsApp etc where visits aren’t possible.

You must NOT visit our facilities if you

  • are COVID-19 positive
  • are unwell. Please stay home if you have a tummy bug or cold or flu/COVID-19-like symptoms (even if you’ve tested negative for COVID-19).

Te Whatu Ora West Coast Aged Residential Care facilities

Visitors are welcome at our Aged Care Residential facilities, subject to the space available. All visitors must wear a surgical mask.

More COVID-19 information

Prioritisation Strategy 2021 – HWD Funded Post Graduate Nurse Education

HWD specifications

These specifications state that the WCDHB must allocate the funding according to:

  1. Prioritised workforce needs, identified by the DHB
  2. The District Annual Plan (DAP) and District Strategic Plan (DSP)
  3. Government priorities and national health policy

These documents can all be located on the WCDHB website.

Ministry of Health health targets

The health target areas help measure progress against achieving the government’s priority areas for health improvement, along with addressing inequalities across population groups, improving Māori and Pacific peoples’ health, and improving access for populations living with disabilities.

The current Health Targets identified by the government can be found at: and include:

  • Child Wellbeing
  • Mental Health
  • Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments
  • Improved Access to Elective Surgery
  • Faster Cancer Treatment
  • Increased Immunisation
  • Better Help for Smokers to Quit

Therefore nurses working directly with the above health target groups will be prioritised to receive HWD funding.

Workforce needs

Prioritisation will also be given to nurses who:

  • Have a current Professional Development and Recognition Portfolio (PDRP)
  • Identify as Māori or as one of the many Pacific Peoples
  • Are already on an established pathway and working to complete a postgraduate qualification within the tertiary provider’s timeframes
  • Are approved to be working in, or toward, RN prescribing and/or Nurse Practitioner status
  • Are working in, or toward, an expanded scope of practice via a credentialing process (i.e. Registered Nurse First Surgical Assistant)
  • Are working in, or toward, an advanced nursing/senior nursing role where postgraduate qualifications are a requirement of the role, i.e.:
    • Associate and/or primary Clinical Nurse Manager
    • Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • Duty Nurse Manager
    • Rural Nurse Specialist
  • Work within an environment of changing/alternate models of care which may include increased responsibility/working to the full scope of practice, i.e.:
    • District Nurses
    • Mental health and addiction services nurses
    • Practice Nurses working under standing orders and/or within an integrated family health service model
  • Work with priority populations, i.e.
    • Children and youth health
    • Community, home-based, preventative, and primary care
    • Long term condition management
    • Mental health and addiction services
    • Health of the older persons


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Page last updated: 28 August 2020

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