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

Mental health initiatives put together

Wednesday 6 September 2017Media release3 minutes to read

A calendar of mental health and suicide prevention trainings, workshops and programmes is being published to mark this weekend's World Suicide Prevention Day (Sunday 10 September).

Suicide Prevention Action Group Chair Paula Mason says there are several upcoming opportunities for people to learn more about looking after themselves and their friends/whanau.

“We all need to do something about our mental health issues, and there are many ways people can get involved, including signing up for online free webinars,” she says.

The calendar will include this Sunday's Lost Souls event remembering people who have died by suicide, at the Greymouth council fountain at 5.30pm; understanding youth mental health workshops in Greymouth and Westport; local support group meetings; workshops for men; and Mental Health Education and Resource Centre webinars on suicide prevention.

“These calendars are available for download (Note: No longer available on this site), on the Community and Public Health website, West Coast health social media sites, and printed copies will be available from health facilities and pharmacies on the West Coast.

“Together we can make a difference in looking out for our whanau, knowing what to look for and being able to make sure those who need it get professional help,” Ms Mason says.

To help those you love stay connected, here's a few tips:

  • Make sure your mate turns up for footy, netball or band practice
  • Invite them for tea, or a movie, or just for a cuppa, on a regular basis.
  • Make sure they're not hitting the drink too hard, or taking drugs.

“When things go wrong, mental illness and its consequences can have a huge toll on individuals, family, friends, mates, colleagues, and those who have tried to help along the way whether in a personal or professional capacity.  If you can see a chance to provide some support, step up and do it.  And make sure they are connecting with health services.” 

If you or someone you know needs more help, here are some avenues:

In an emergency:  Call 111 if there is an immediate danger to life.

General practices (GPs) are a good first step for people needing help.  You can also contact the West Coast Primary Health Organisation (03) 768 6182 who offer counselling services.

Triage Assessment and Crisis Team (TACT):  Phone 0800 757 678.  The TACT team provides psychiatric assessment and treatment for people experiencing an acute episode of mental illness especially when their own or someone else's safety is at risk. The TACT team can advise in situations where there are concerns about intentional self-harm behaviours.

Community mental health: Phone (03) 768 0499:  Community mental health services are provided across the West Coast. They provide psychiatric assessment and treatment for people with serious mental illness.

iCAMHS (Child, Adolescent Mental Health Service):  Phone: (03) 769-7670. Community-based services for children (and their families/whanau) from birth to 18 years with serious mental illness, suspected psychiatric or psychological problems, including severe emotional or behavioural problems.

Lifeline – 0800 543 354
Depression Helpline (8am – 12midnight) – 0800 111 757
Healthline – 0800 611 116
Samaritans – 0800 211 211
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865
Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234,
or email
What's Up (5 – 18 year olds, 1pm – 11pm) – 0800 942 8787
Kidsline (up to 14 years old, 4pm – 6pm weekdays) – 0800 54 37 54
Mental Health Foundation Link to web page


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Page last updated: 22 November 2021

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