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

Profile provides planning tool

Friday 8 July 2016Media release2 minutes to read

Overall increases in community need, challenges in recruitment and retention of workers, viability of services, and the need for co-ordination are key themes in the Buller Community Profile released this week.

Launching the report yesterday to the Buller Interagency Forum which commissioned the profile, West Coast Medical Officer of Health Dr Cheryl Brunton said, “many of the indicators discussed in this Profile show concerning trends, however, the considerable human, natural and organisational capital available within the Buller should not be underestimated.”

Dr Brunton was impressed at the commitment of the staff of agencies who took part in more than 80 interviews to provide information for the Profile.

“It is a snapshot of a community with many challenges.  Job losses, decline in traditional industries, old housing stock, changing  population dynamics and difficulties in recruiting and retaining specialist staff are all factors putting pressure on Buller communities and their health, education and social service providers.”

Buller Interagency Forum Chair and West Coast DHB General Manager Buller Kathleen Gavigan says the Profile pulls together great information and an analysis of what's going on in Buller.

“The launch of the Buller Community Profile is a celebration of agencies working together to strengthen the Buller community.  It enables the Buller Interagency Forum to focus on what we can do to reduce the load currently being experienced by agencies and people in our communities.” Ms Gavigan says.

Buller Mayor Garry Howard welcomed the Profile, saying it painted a clear picture of the situation in Buller.

“The Profile confirms the reality of our challenges, and provides us with information that will help us plan for the future together more strategically.  We all want a brighter future for our residents.  We now have a benchmark and can work with Government and non-Government agencies to enhance services.  What's next is that all the agencies will get together and start working on those plans.”

The report acknowledges the contribution of Buller REAP in the collection of data and providing invaluable local knowledge contributing to the final report.  Pete Howard, in his role as Buller Community Development Facilitator, assisted in interviewing representatives of local agencies.


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Page last updated: 17 April 2019

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