There is still a heightened risk to vulnerable people in hospital, so we recommend all people to continue wearing a mask when visiting any of our facilities and follow other advice designed to keep patients, staff and visitors safe.  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.

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

Te Whatu Ora Te Tai o Poutini Studentship Programme renamed in honour of Gary Coghlan

Friday 23 September 2022Health news2 minutes to read

Te Whatu Ora Te Tai o Poutini West Coast’s Studentship Programme has recently been renamed Te Kōunga o Te Hiringa Gary Coghlan Studentship Programme in memory of Gary Coghlan who was one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s longest serving general managers in Hauora Māori.

Gary who lost his long battle with illness on 26 November 2021 had an enormous impact during his 20+ years working at the former West Coast District Health Board. He continually challenged the health system to deliver equitable outcomes for Māori and actively promoted cultural competencies in mainstream health systems. He was recognised as one of the key contributors to reforms within the health system and in developing rural health initiatives on the West Coast, and was held in the greatest respect by his colleagues.

Interim General Manager Hauora Māori Kylie Parkin says that Gary was passionate about workforce development and was instrumental in developing the West Coast’s Studentship Programme and in ensuring that the process was robust from an equity perspective. He led a strong national Māori workforce agenda that is starting to see some demonstrable change within our Hauora workforce.

“Gary promoted programmes that gave rangatahi (young people) the opportunity to experience first-hand what life could be like working in the West Coast Health System. He was both innovative and courageous with his ideas and he was never afraid to challenge the status quo. These are all character traits that we would hope to find in our studentship applicants.”

Gary’s Māori whakapapa is to Te Rūnanga o Maakawhio and Poutini Ngāi Tahu and he was equally proud of his Irish ancestry. He was a former chair of Tumu Whakarae, the National Leadership Group of Māori Managers within District Health Boards, as well as a former deputy chair of Tai Poutini Polytechnic. Gary leaves behind four sons of whom he was immensely proud.

The Studentship Programme is open to West Coast students who are studying, or intending to enrol at a recognised NZ university or polytechnic for the next academic year. Applicants must have resided on the South Island’s West Coast, or have strong links to or whakapapa to Te Tai o Poutini. Applications close on Sunday, 9 October 2022.


Note to editors:

More information including how to apply for a studentship is available online Te Kōunga o Te Hiringa Gary Coghlan Studentship Programme


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Page last updated: 23 September 2022

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