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

Changes to Buller Health’s maternity services to be introduced next week

Thursday 20 October 2022Health news3 minutes to read

Changes to Buller Health’s maternity services will be introduced next week so hapū māmā (pregnant women) living in Buller will continue to have access to pre and post-natal care while Te Whatu Ora Te Tai o Poutini West Coast looks to recruit a permanent midwife.

Norma Campbell, Executive Director – Midwifery and Maternity Services, Te Whatu Ora Te Tai o Poutini West Coast and Waitaha Canterbury says “with our current locum midwife leaving at the start of next week, we are now widening our search for a suitable replacement, while at the same time working to ensure our hapū māmā in Buller have ongoing and consistent access to care.”

“We acknowledge and thank both our current midwife and also the locums who over the last year have provided such fantastic support to our expectant mums. But with these staff moving on, we are firmly focused on how we can best support our hapū māmā who’ve said that they would like to see more consistency in their care.

“The good news is that a midwife who resides in Buller is returning to work and her primary focus will be postnatal care. We know who is hapū and we have asked our Greymouth and Northern-based Lead Maternity Carers (LMCs) about registering the 15 māmā who are due between now and May 2023. This will mean that they can meet the midwife or her backup who will be at their birth. We are supporting these midwives with additional resource to do this and are very grateful to them.”

“We will be contacting all hapū māmā to arrange appointments to continue their pregnancy care. Clinics will be held in Buller Health’s Kawatiri maternity unit every Wednesday starting next week. If needed, hapū māmā can also arrange to pop in and be assessed on these clinic days.”

“We have listened to our hapū māmā about their need for consistency of care and think that these changes will give them more clarity about who will attend their birth, provide postnatal care and whilst hapū who will consistently on a set day and time be in Westport for antenatal visits.

“An increasing number of hapū māmā in Buller are opting to birth at Te Nīkau Hospital’s maternity unit and for safety reasons this will be the only option available for hapū māmā from Buller until we have recruited an additional midwife. If anyone is concerned about their pregnancy, they can ring Te Nīkau Hospital’s maternity team for advice 24/7 on 03 769 7803. If it is an emergency, please phone 111 immediately.

“It is great to see progress being made on Te Rau Kawakawa – our new Buller Health facility, and very shortly we will have modern purpose-designed facilities for our hapū māmā and their pēpi in Westport,” says Ms Campbell.



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Page last updated: 20 October 2022

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