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

West Coast DHB announces high level Buller Health facility timelines

Friday 1 February 2019Facilities News2 minutes to read

Please attribute to David Meates, Chief Executive

Following approval and confirmation of both the site and importantly, the funding of the new Buller Health Centre, responsibility for this project was transferred back to the West Coast DHB from the Ministry of Health in December.

Since the beginning of the year, we have been working to progress the transfer of legal documentation which will allow us to confirm project consultants, such as architects and engineers. The consultants will be responsible for the ongoing design and delivery of the Buller Health project and we expect to be able to confirm this detail by late March 2019.

Once the consultants are on board, user groups will be re-engaged as we move into the next design phases of preliminary, developed and detailed. The Buller District Mayor, as the council-appointed representative for the design phase will participate in this process. Our clinical teams will be consulted to help bring to life a more detailed plan of how the various clinical spaces will look and interact with each other.

The design phase will include the use of a ‘mock-up’ space with moveable walls, or tape on the floor to indicate the space available to perform certain tasks. There will be a number of opportunities for staff, patients/consumers and the wider community to ‘test’ the layout of the various rooms to ensure that they are functional and fit for purpose. We anticipate that the design will be completed by October 2019.

Construction registration of interest will be sought during September 2019 with the construction contract to be let in January 2020. Demolition and construction associated with the new facility is expected to take 550 days with planned occupation of the new facility expected by September 2021.

West Coast DHB has appointed Tom Cunningham as the Project Manager to lead the development. Tom will be supported by the Programme Director Construction and Property at Canterbury DHB with the West Coast Partnership Group continuing to provide oversight.


The current floor plans have a floor size of 2213m² with an additional 68m² utility building. You can view the floor plan here. Note, as the design progresses through the various stages, these plans are likely to change.


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Page last updated: 20 May 2019

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