All hospital visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask. For more information about visiting: Visitors and family. See our COVID-19 page for general COVID-19 advice, detailed hospital visiting guidelines and COVID-19 tests.

See West Coast COVID-19 vaccination clinics for info on vaccinations link COVID-19 Vaccination • West Coast • Healthpoint

Last updated:
16 September 2022

Fewer visitor restrictions now apply

For visitors to all facilities (effective from and last updated on 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

New Buller facility name released – Te Rau Kawakawa

Thursday 23 June 2022Health news2 minutes to read

The name Te Rau Kawakawa has been gifted to the new Buller facility by mana whenua Ngati Waewae, and the West Coast DHB formally endorsed the name at today’s final board meeting.

DHB Board Chair Rick Barker, thanked Ngati Waewae for gifting the name.   At the meeting DHB board member and Ngati Waewae Chair Francois Tumahai explained the new name, saying it was consistent with the name of the Greymouth hospital facility Te Nikau (also a plant).

A report prepared by the Hauora Māori team outlined that the kawakawa is a traditional Māori therapeutic/healing plant used for centuries either as a drink, inhaled, or as a balm for rashes, allergies or other ailments.  It is considered to be one of the most potent medicinal herbs in rongoā (traditional Māori healing).

Kawakawa is also a type of Pounamu known for healing purposes and found in the Arahura awa (river), sacred to the Ngati Waewae.

Progress on the new facility has been steady.  Roofing is complete, brickwork cladding is continuing, gib has been procured and installation is underway.  The facility is due for completion mid-2023 and is progressing faster than expected.

Te Rau Kawakawa

Aerial image of the new Buller facility, taken last week.



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Page last updated: 23 June 2022

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