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

1080 – information re Te Maruia, Inangahua and Buller catchments Sept-November 2019

RE Official Information Act request WCDHB 9391

I refer to your email dated 17 December 2019 and received by this office on 30 January 2020 requesting the following information under the Official Information Act from West Coast DHB. Specifically, regarding 1080.

1. Please provide copies of applications received by the DHB from Department of Conservation that sought permission to use Vertebrate Toxic Agents in the Te Maruia, Inangahua, and Buller catchments for the period around September-November 2019.
2. Please provide copies of the permissions granted by the DHB (Public Health HSNO Enforcement Officer) in response to these applications, together with the conditions of permission imposed by the DHB.
3. The VTA permission application form states: “Have you provided evidence to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of ERMA NZ’s Communication Guidelines for Aerial 0180 operations?” Please provide copies of the evidence of compliance which accompanied the applications for permission.
4. Please state how the Public Health HSNO Enforcement Officer verified the statements made by the applicant. Or did the DHB officer accept the statements at face value?
5. Did the Public Health HSNO Enforcement Officer or other DHB officer attend and observe the operation?
6. The West Coast DHB gave permission for a poisoning operation that has appalled the public. Marine creatures harvested by the public were found dead amongst poisoned rats at the mouth of the Buller river, indicating that human health was not protected by the DHB’s conditions of permission. Do you consider that the DHB should not be party to permitting the use of Vertebrate Toxic Agents which have the capacity to harm human health by the way they are being used?


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Page last updated: 16 March 2020

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