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

Health services all set to move into Buller Health’s new facility – Te Rau Kawakawa

Thursday 4 May 2023Health news3 minutes to read

Health services are set to move across into Buller Health’s new facility – Te Rau Kawakawa this coming weekend.

The move which starts tomorrow (Friday, 5/5/2023) is expected to take four days with the new facility on track to become operational at 8am on Monday 8 May.

“Over the past few weeks a significant amount of work has gone into getting the facility operationally ready. This has included stocking consumables and clinical supplies, completing equipment and information technology infrastructure installation as well as undertaking a clinically clean of the building,” says Te Whatu Ora West Coast’s General Manager, Philip Wheble.

“Buller Health staff have also completed the required orientation and training and are really looking forward to welcoming the Buller community into their new workplace – Te Rau Kawakawa on Monday.

“While services are on the move, there will be no planned GP appointments from midday Friday until Tuesday (09/05/2023) morning. There will also be no outpatient clinics running from midday Friday through until Monday morning. Over the weekend, urgent and acute care will continue to be available in the current facility’s acute care ward until Monday morning at 8am when the acute care team will be providing these services from the new facility,” says Mr Wheble.

Remember, if it’s an emergency dial 111.

  • If you are feeling unwell with any condition, you can phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free health advice 24/7 or you can call our General Practice after-hours triage service on 03 788 9277 rather than visiting in person.
  • For appointments, enquiries, prescriptions or results please phone Buller Medical Centre on 03 788 9277 during week day opening hours (Monday – Friday; 8:45am – 5:00pm).
  • If you have a mild illness, you can check the Te Whatu Ora | Te Tai o Poutini West Coast or HealthInfo websites for more information on what to do or where to go if you are unsure.
  • For COVID-19 health advice please call 0800 358 5453.
  • If you’re worried about yourself, or someone in your whānau who has a respiratory illness, see the checklist here of symptoms to watch out for, and when you should seek medical advice.


Note to editors:

Buller Health’s new facility – Te Rau Kawakawa

The 7-overnight bed facility has been designed to support an integrated model of care and will house a range of services including general practice, acute care services, primary birthing and postnatal care, palliative care, urgent care and child dental services.

Our community services like District Nursing and Home & Community Support Services, Hauora Māori service, mental health service as well as drug and alcohol services will also be located within the new facility.

Clinical services will be supported by radiology and laboratory (phlebotomy) support services on the same site. The co-location of services will facilitate a collaborative approach to providing health care services, with a focus on improving the patient experience.


Buller Health – Te Rau Kawakawa, 46b Cobden Street, Westport.

Entry and parking

The campus entrance is still off Cobden Street, Westport with access to all services via the building’s main entrance. Patient parks including mobility parks are available close to the main entrance.

Phone numbers

  • (03) 788 9030 general enquiries
  • (03) 788 9277 medical centre

 Normal Hours




Buller Medical Centre

Monday – Friday

Saturday – Sunday

Statutory Holidays

8:45am – 5:00pm

10:00am – 12:00pm

10:00am – 12:00pm

Buller Health’s Acute Care Services are available 24/7. Remember, if it’s an emergency dial 111.

 Two wayfinding maps (A3, colour) – one for the facility and the campus map – are available on our website:


Related topics

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Page last updated: 4 May 2023

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