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

Drive-through clinic targets Māori and other prioritised patients

Friday 3 April 2020Health news3 minutes to read

Patients received medical care in their cars at a Poutini Waiora and Grey Medical Centre flu vaccination drive-through clinic yesterday in Greymouth.

At-risk Māori were contacted and scheduled for flu vaccinations by Poutini Waiora Nurse Prescriber Angela Orr. As each person turned up in their cars, they were directed to Poutini Waiora Whanau Ora nurse Dianna McLean in full personal protective equipment who took details and delivered the flu vaccination. Poutini Waiora Whanau Ora Navigator Karyn Andersen followed up with information about other things available to Māori in need.

This wasn’t the first flu clinic targeting Māori patients, Ms Orr said. “But we are noticing more people are keen to get their vaccinations. Many of these patients are immune-compromised. Māori have more respiratory conditions, diabetes, cancer than non- Māori, and that puts them at more of a risk in terms of getting flu. It also means they are more vulnerable if they get COVID-19.

“If we can delay and minimise the number of people with flu on the Coast, then it’s not a double whammy for our patients.”

Clinical Nurse Manager Chris Beadle said non-Māori vulnerable patients are also being contacted to receive their flu vaccinations. 

West Coast DHB Māori Health Portfolio Manager Kylie Parkin says the clinic had been initiated by Grey Medical Centre when they managed to secure flu vaccines.

““Māori uptake of flu vaccinations sits at 59% of those aged 65 and over currently vaccinated. That’s slightly above the national picture, but still low given the disproportionate number of Māori with pre-existing health conditions, in particular respiratory illness which could mean that their outcomes from influenza would be worse than most. 

“Locally it has always been a challenge to convince them of the benefits of getting their flu jab, but with the current situation it presents an opportunity for us to better protect Māori who may be more at risk from poorer health outcomes as a result of flu.”

Patient Iwi Neate of Hokitika had never received a flu shot in the past.

“With the pandemic, plus I’m in the statistics for ethnicity, age and health, I decided it was a good idea. I didn’t really know the process, but the nurse rang round to set up appointments,” Iwi says. 

As for the vaccination: “I didn’t even know she’d done it!”

There have been supply issues with flu vaccines, but West Coast general practices and pharmacies are expecting further deliveries for vulnerable patients within the next week. The vaccines should be available for the general public later in April.



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Page last updated: 9 June 2021

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