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

Signing of Takiwā Poutini Partnership Charter paves the way towards local health system transformation

Wednesday 7 September 2022Health news3 minutes to read

The future of health service delivery across Takiwā Poutini West Coast is set to be transformed with the signing of the Takiwā Poutini Partnership Charter at Arahura Marae today.

Takiwā Poutini was selected in April 2022 by Health New Zealand as one of nine initial localities to develop a health system prototype. This new approach will focus on avoiding people getting sick and helping whānau stay well; give iwi and communities a strong voice in deciding what’s needed in their local area; and get different health and wellbeing organisations working together better to improve people’s experiences of health care.

Te Whatu Ora Te Tai o Poutini West Coast along with partner agency, Te Aka Whai Ora is working in partnership with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae and Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio as well as the West Coast PHO, Te Mana Ora Community & Public Health, Te Whatu Ora Waitaha and the Regional Public Service Commissioner to achieve this.

Representative for Ngāti Waewae Rūnanga Lisa Tumahai says, “we are pleased to be working in partnership with health and social services providers – He waka eke noa (We are all in this waka together). This is a great opportunity to prioritise improving the poor hauora (health and wellbeing) outcomes of whānau Māori in Takiwā Poutini.”

“We are working towards a true whānau approach that is holistic, and involves building long-term trusted relationships and wrapping services around whānau.”

Takiwā Poutini is New Zealand’s most rurally remote locality, which makes equity and access to health and wellbeing services significantly challenging to solve.

Te Whatu Ora Te Tai o Poutini West Coast’s General Manager Philip Wheble says, as health is only a small part of what makes up our people’s overall health and wellbeing, it’s important we develop a comprehensive approach aimed at improving the wellbeing of our West Coast communities.

“Working in partnership with the other agencies will ensure that we in a strong position to transition to a more integrated sustainable model of health and social services focused on equity, community wellbeing and service integration.”

Takiwā Poutini Partnership is focused on building a programme of engagement and communications that brings West Coast whānau, health and social agencies, and community organisations together. To date, the partnership group has met with Development West Coast, West Coast Mayors and Chairs, and the West Coast Cross Sector Forum, with plans for further engagement and discussions with West Coast Councils after the local body elections.

Takiwā Poutini Partnership Chairperson Kevin Hague says, the development of a West Coast health system prototype offers a fantastic opportunity to ensure we are well placed to provide culturally appropriate, whānau centred services across health, education and the social sector which are responsive to and meet the needs of our communities.

“While there is a lot of work to do, it’s a really exciting time and our team has a real desire to improve our system. We are looking forward to engaging with our West Coast communities and health system partners over the coming months to understand what the local needs and priorities are and how health care might be better delivered locally,” says Mr Hague.


Note to editors:

More information about Localities is available on the Te Whatu Ora website – Localities – Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand


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Page last updated: 7 September 2022

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