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

Demolition to start to make way for new Buller Health Centre

Friday 17 July 2020Health news3 minutes to read

“The final sign off for funding for the first stage of demolition which will see some of the existing buildings demolished and asbestos removed has been received today.  Once this demolition and asbestos removal work is complete building will be able to start on the new Buller Health Centre,” Rick Barker, Chair of the West Coast District Health Board announced today.

The Government has approved up to $1m in additional funding on top the $20m approved in Budget 2018.

“Cake Commercial Services Ltd , will be the contractor undertaking the work, and we expect specialist staff to be on site during the last week of July.The demolition and asbestos removal work is expected to take about six months to complete.

The asbestos removal will see material removed from the ceilings, tunnels, walls and roof of the ‘Old Kitchen Caretakers Block’ and Morgue. This will be undertaken by licenced asbestos removal contractors who will wear full PPE at all times.  Once removed it will be taken to the approved asbestos dumping facility.

The process of hiring the construction contractor will take place while the demolition and asbestos removal is taking place. This will happen in two stages.

The first stage will be a Registration of Interest (ROI), which will produce a shortlist of applicants who will then be invited to progress to the second stage – a Request for Proposal (RFP). A preferred contactor will then be selected.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins says the people of Buller and the staff that care for them deserve a modern, purpose-built health facility and it will be great to see work getting underway on-site.

“This 12-bed Health Centre will house a range of services including General Practice, patient rooms, primary birthing and postnatal care, palliative care and Urgent Care.

“The West Coast DHB’s community services, Māori health service and mental health service will also be located within the new Buller Health Centre.

“Clinical services will be supported by radiology and laboratory support services on the same site. The co-location of teams will facilitate a collaborative approach to providing health care, with a focus on improving the patient experience,” Chris Hipkins said.

Rick Barker says construction of the new facility is likely to begin two to four weeks after demolition has finished and all asbestos has been removed and should take around 24 months to complete.

“We expect the West Coast DHB will be able to begin relocating services to the new facility approximately three months after completion, to allow time for the installation of fixtures and fittings and a full clinical clean, followed by staff migration,” Rick Barker said.

“With funding already approved for the construction of the new Buller Health Facility I do not expect any more delays.

“This should be a continuous process, from demolishing the old and building the new, to the transfer into and the start of providing services for the people of Buller in a new, purpose built modern health facility.

“I’m looking forward to when the community will be able to see real progress on site from the end of the month onwards, when the first stage of the work commences,” Rick Barker said.



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Page last updated: 17 July 2020

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