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

A copy of each annual audit of compliance and enforcement of HSNO s95A permits issued since delegation was given to the Ministry of Health by the EPA.

RE Official Information Act request CDHB 10174 and WCDHB 9341

I refer to your email dated 16 August 2019 to the Ministry of Health which they transferred to us on 21 August 2019 requesting the following information under the Official Information Act from Canterbury DHB and West Coast DHB. I note you subsequently clarified your request on 23 August 2019.

A copy of each annual audit of compliance and enforcement of HSNO s95A permits issued by Ministry of Health, around New Zealand, since the HSNO s95A delegation was given to the Ministry of Health by the EPA.

Public Health Units are required to provide annual returns on their activities in relation to hazardous substances to the Ministry of Health which collates this information and supplies it to the Environmental Protection Agency. These reports are referred to as Hazardous Substances Intentions and Activities Reports and they include data on activities such as the issuing of permissions for the use of vertebrate toxic agents (VTAs), and audits of VTA operations. The format of these reports has changed over the years and early reports (prior to 2009) were in the form of completed spreadsheets, however, copies of these were not retained locally. The detail required in these reports has also increased.

The Community and Public Health division of the Canterbury District Health Board provides public health services to the Canterbury, South Canterbury and West Coast districts. In the attached Appendices, we have provided excerpts from the annual Hazardous Substances Intentions and Activities reports which deal specifically with VTA permissions and audits of VTA operations for the reporting years 2009 – 2019 (the latter covering the period 1 July 2018-31st July 2019). For the years 2009-2012 it was customary to report by health district, rather than by public health unit. The excerpts from district reports for these years have been combined into single documents for your convenience. The 2012 excerpt only covers the West Coast as we have been unable to locate file copies of the 2012 reports from Canterbury and South Canterbury.

Please refer to the Appendices (overleaf and attached).


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Page last updated: 3 October 2019

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