All hospital visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask. For more information about visiting: Visitors and family. See our COVID-19 page for general COVID-19 advice, detailed hospital visiting guidelines and COVID-19 tests.

See West Coast COVID-19 vaccination clinics for info on vaccinations link COVID-19 Vaccination • West Coast • Healthpoint

Last updated:
16 September 2022

Fewer visitor restrictions now apply

For visitors to all facilities (effective from and last updated on 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

Buller Health services relocating

Wednesday 17 August 2022Health news3 minutes to read

Te Whatu Ora – Te Tai o Poutini has announced Buller Health is temporarily moving its services as a precautionary measure in case of flooding.

This evening Buller’s Acute/Emergency services will relocate to the Masonic Lodge at 51 Russell St, Westport, from 8pm-11pm.  These services will continue at the Masonic Lodge from 7am Thursday until further notice.  Buller Medical Clinic will be operating out of the Masonic Lodge from 08.30 am Thursday.

The Buller-based Alcohol and other Drugs (AoD) service will work remotely; and other community services as are able.

For ALL Medical Emergencies dial 111.

Te Whatu Ora Te Tai o Poutini General Manager Philip Wheble says the services are moving this evening because water levels around the Buller Health buildings are already high, and river levels are expected to peak tomorrow morning.  Civil Defence authorities had suggested services impacted by the February 2022 floods should seriously consider moving as a similar outcome was expected.

“We decided it was prudent to relocate now, rather than having to start moving everything around 4 in the morning.  We’ve worked from the Masonic Lodge building in previous flooding events and the space there is adequate for our temporary needs,” Mr Wheble says.

He urges any residents who might be asked to evacuate, to remember to wear masks (surgical masks are best) and take hand sanitiser, especially if going to an evacuation centre.  Masks will be available at evacuation centres.

Evacuation grab bags should contain any medications needed for the next few days, a first aid kit (including RAT tests), mask and hand sanitiser, and any special foods for people with special dietary needs.

Accessing health care

Remember, if you or anyone you know needs health advice, please call Healthline on 0800 611 116 – calls are answered 24/7. If you need to be seen, they will tell you what to do and where to go.

  • If it’s an emergency, call 111 as per usual
  • For non-urgent appointments, ring your general practice’s phone number.
  • For wellbeing support you can talk to a counsellor free of charge, call or text 1737 any time of the day or night.
  • For pregnancy support and advice over the phone, please call your LMC/midwife.
  • If you have questions about your young child or baby’s health phone Plunketline on 0800 933 922 to speak to a Plunket nurse.
  • You can also visit our HealthInfo website for trusted health advice on a range of issues.
  • If you require essential prescription medications and your supply is running low, call your usual GP number for advice – Find a GP, medical practice, clinic or health centre | West Coast DHB (
  • Buller Pharmacy in Westport, at 168 Palmerston Street is open for over the counter medications and health advice.  Phone (03) 789 7629.
  • Talk confidentially about a meth or P-related issue or problem – 0800 METH HELP 0800 6384 4357.
  • The Alcohol Drug Helpline offers support to anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s drug or alcohol use 0800 787 797.



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Page last updated: 17 August 2022

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