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

South Westland flooding – Media Update 1

Thursday 24 March 2016Media release3 minutes to read

All DHB clinics are running as normal in South Westland today. If any patients are unable to make it to their appointments, it would be useful to ring their local clinic and let them know, and alternative appointments can be arranged.

If you feel ill, seek assistance or advice. Contact your GP in the first instance.
If it's an emergency dial 111.

The Red Cross has set up a welfare centre in the Franz Josef Town Hall for those who have been displaced due to flooding.

Boil or treat all water from taps before drinking, brushing teeth or using in food preparation.

Bringing water to the boil is sufficient to kill bugs. Water needs to be boiled even if the smell or taste of chlorine is present. If you cannot boil water, treat it by adding 1 teaspoon of household bleach per 10 litres of water and leave for 30 minutes.

The Council and Public Health are working together to test water supplies in the region and will update this advice as soon as we have a clear idea of how the water supply has been impacted by the flooding.

Employers should also make sure their staff are only consuming boiled or bottled water at work. This applies even for workplaces with self-supplied water, until testing can be completed and the supply can be cleared of risk.

  • Check on your neighbours and keep in touch with family and friends. At times like this it's important to look out for elderly neighbours and others who live alone.
  • Make sure you stay up to date with what is happening in the rest of the community, so you know what is going on and what you need to do: Listen to the radio, make regular contact with friends and family, check road conditions at ( for an update on road conditions, and the Westland District Council website ( for civil defence updates. The NZTA Facebook page is also updated regularly.
  • Although the forecast is for improving weather, make sure you have enough food, water and basic household and medical supplies for your family and pets – you will need three litres of water per person per day. Make sure your emergency stock contains food with high nutritional value and a long shelf life. You will need a battery powered radio (as well as spare batteries) in your emergency supplies kit to help you stay in touch. Your emergency kit should also contain basic medical supplies like paracetamol and plasters.

Don't forget about your usual medications – talk with your general practice team about ensuring you have enough.


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Page last updated: 17 April 2019

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