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

About Gynaecology

Gynaecology Procedure Unit (CDHB)

See also: Gynaecology Procedure Unit (on our CDHB sister site)

Maternity services

Looking for content related to maternity services?  Please use the handy links provided below.

Maternity services 

Maternity unit

Gynaecology Services provides specialist care for:

Abortion Services

Abortions are available on the West Coast for pregnancies up to 12 weeks. If your pregnancy is greater than 12 weeks you will be referred to the Gynaecology Procedure Unit (GPU) at Christchurch Women’s Hospital. 

We work closely with the GPU at Christchurch Women’s Hospital. Referrals for abortions are done through GPU, with the procedure occurring on  the West Coast for pregnancies under 12 weeks.  GPU also runs the telehealth early medical abortion service for the people of West Coast and Canterbury. If telehealth is unsuitable, an appointment will be made for you to see a doctor at Te Nīkau Hospital and Health Centre.

Routine ultrasound scans are no longer required for all early medical abortions and will only be undertaken for people with a clinical need. For many, especially people who live rurally, this will mean there is no longer a need to travel to access this service.

Patient Information

Document Description
Abortion: Patient Information (Leaflet – PDF, 378 KB) Provides detailed information about using abortion services on the West Coast.


While you no longer need a GP referral to have an abortion, if you have a GP we still recommend making an appointment (there is no cost associated with this visit) with them to discuss your options, confirm how many weeks pregnant you are and to make a referral if you decide to proceed. Your GP will then also arrange the swabs/bloods that are required before an abortion and this can help speed up the process.

There is public funding for appointments during early pregnancy, so your appointment to get a referral should be free if you are a New Zealand citizen or resident. As always, your medical appointment will be confidential.

Alternatively, you can contact the Gynaecology Procedure Unit (GPU) at Christchurch Women’s Hospital on 03 378-6386 and staff will make arrangements for you. If your call goes to the answer phone, please leave your details for staff to call you back. GPU is open Monday to Thursday only.

Abortion services available on the West Coast

Early Medical Abortion via Telehealth – this service is for people who are 9 weeks or less pregnant and meet the criteria to take the medication at home. The medications are sent to you, or alternatively we can make arrangements for you to pick them up with the process occuring at home, with follow up from the GPU nurses.

Early Medical Abortion Outpatients – for people who are 9 weeks or less pregnant and do not wish to have a telehealth abortion or do not meet the criteria. An appointment will be made for you to see a Doctor at Te Nīkau. Follow up phone calls are provided by the GPU nurses.

Surgical Abortion – for people who are 12 weeks or less pregnant. This is performed with sedation and local anaesthesia. You will have an initial virtual appointment with a Doctor from Te Nīkau Hospital and then you will come to Te Nīkau Hospital for the procedure.

If you are over 12 weeks and 1 day 12 weeks and 1 day pregnancy and want an abortion you will be referred to GPU at Christchurch Women’s Hospital for the procedure.

Supporting you

We know it can be hard to make a decision about what to do and we are here to provide support. Counselling is available should you wish to explore feelings and issues related to an unplanned pregnancy and the options available.

Counselling services are focused on supporting you with your decision. This is a professional, confidential and free service.

Counselling sessions are available providing time for discussion of options, procedures and anxieties. You are not required to have counselling, but it is available.

Pre-decision counselling is also offered if you are unsure of your decision. Post abortion counselling is also available.

Qualified Pregnancy Counsellor/Social Workers are based in Greymouth, Westport and Hokitika. They provide pregnancy counselling to everyone from Karamea to Haast.

Social Workers are based at Westport, Greymouth and Hokitika health facilities and are available Monday to Friday 8am to 4:30pm.


Abortion services and related counselling services are free to any pregnant person who is eligible for publicly funded health care.

Travel and accommodation assistance can be provided to eligible patients. This is approved by a West Coast DHB Social Worker.


For referrals

  • you can self-refer (Monday to Thursday 8am – 4pm or leave a message): 03 378-6386
  • you can be referred by your GP, or
  • call the Sexual Health Clinic in Grey/Westland (Monday 2pm to 6pm): 03 769-7400, extension 2874, or
  • call the Sexual Health Clinic in Buller (Monday 11am to 4pm): 03 788-9030, extension 8756

For counselling or support

  • the pregnancy counsellor / social worker at Buller Hospital in Westport (covers the region from Karamea to Reefton): 03 788-9030, or
  • the pregnancy counsellor / social worker for Hokitika, South Westland: 03 756-9700, or
  • the Social Work Clinical leader West Coast DHB: 03 769-7400 or 027 702-1302.

Referral information

The following information is needed:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Address and contact phone number
  • New Zealand Residency
  • Next of Kin and contact number.

Page last updated: 4 May 2022

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