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

Preparation of new Buller Health facility site to begin in early 2020

Wednesday 11 December 2019Facilities News2 minutes to read

Please attribute to Philip Wheble, General Manager – West Coast District Health Board

New Buller Health FacilityThe relocation of services located in buildings needing to be demolished to make way for the West Coast DHB’s new Buller Health facility has been completed. All services including Buller Medical Centre have been working from their new locations since Monday, 25 November.

Registration of Interest (ROI) for the procurement of a demolition contractor was issued on the Government Electronic Tender Service (GETS) in November and a preferred contractor for this work will be identified following completion of this process.

Demolition needed to make way for construction of the facility is expected to begin in early 2020, with construction starting around May 2020.

Construction will take around 18 months to complete, with occupancy of the new facility approximately three months after to allow time for activities such as the installation of fixtures and fittings and a full clinical cleaning of the facility.

The facility is budgeted to cost $20 million and will have a final floor area of 2,290m² with all services, storage spaces and utility areas located within the facility itself. The detailed design plan was endorsed by the West Coast DHB Board at their Friday, 1 November meeting.

The 12-bed facility has been designed to support an integrated model of care and will house a range of services including general practice, inpatients, primary birthing and postnatal care, palliative care and urgent care. The DHB’s community services, Māori health service and mental health service will also be located within the Buller Health Centre.

Clinical services will be supported by radiology and laboratory 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.


  • The current floor plans have a floor size of 2,290m² with an additional 68m² utility building. You can view the floor plan here.
  • You can view the 3D video of the new Buller Health facility here.
  • A full list of the services that will be provided from the new Buller Health facility is here.


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Page last updated: 16 July 2020

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