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

West Coast DHB’s COVID-19 vaccination team is heading to Runanga and Hokitika later this week

Wednesday 27 October 2021Health news2 minutes to read

Please attribute the following to Philip Wheble, Senior Responsible Officer for the COVID-19 response, West Coast DHB:

If you live in Runanga or Hokitika and still need to get vaccinated, then as luck would have it our vaccination team will be heading your way later this week.

On Friday (29/10/2021), our mobile vaccination team will be in Runanga from 2.30pm – 6pm where they will be set up in our mobile vaccination van outside the Spring Creek Pool on McGowan Street.

If you live in Runanga and want to get vaccinated, you are welcome to just pop down – no appointment is necessary. If you need assistance getting to the clinic, please phone us on 0800 492 342 to arrange pick-up and drop-off.

On Sunday (31/10/2021), the team will be back in Hokitika running a drive-through vaccination event from 11am – 5pm at the Westland Milk Products staff car park on the corner of Stafford and Livingstone Streets.

If you received your first dose at the last Hokitika drive-through earlier this month, you should have received a call from our West Coast team to re-schedule your appointment for this Sunday’s clinic. This is so we can get as many people vaccinated with both doses before the end of the month. If you haven’t been contacted, please call the team on 0800 492 342.

In Hokitika, everyone who gets vaccinated will be treated to a West Coast Soft Serve ice cream and a sausage sizzle. All you need to do is show your COVID-19 vaccination sticker and if you have brought your children they will be treated to an ice cream and a sausage too.

While an appointment is recommended, it isn’t necessary so if you don’t get time to make a booking, you are welcome to just turn up.

You can book online at or by calling the National Booking team on 0800 28 29 26 (8am – 8pm, 7 days). Vaccinations are available to all eligible people 12yrs and older.

Remember, getting vaccinated is the best way to protect ourselves and our whānau.

More information about getting the COVID-19 vaccine is available online:



Related topics

Back to Health News

Page last updated: 27 October 2021

Is this page useful?