ORANGE

Hospital visitors don’t need a Vaccine Pass, but must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are no longer acceptable. See our COVID-19 pages for visiting guidelines, COVID-19 tests current case numbers in regions of Canterbury and care in the community advice. See www.vaccinatecanterburywestcoast.nz for info about vaccinations.

We are at ORANGE according to the NZ COVID-19 Protection Framework

Last updated:
19 April 2022

For visitors to all facilities effective from Tuesday 19 April 2022

With the change to the ORANGE Traffic Light setting, Canterbury DHB is easing its visitor policy in recognition of the fact we have passed the peak of the current Omicron outbreak and case numbers are slowly reducing.

The following visitor restrictions are now in place for all Canterbury DHB hospitals and health facilities:

  • One adult visitor may be accompanied by no more than one child over the age of 12 per patient in the hospital at any given time, except where stated otherwise in the ‘exceptions’ section below.  No children under 12 and those 12 and over must be accompanied by an adult and wear a medical mask.
  • Visitors or support people should not visit our facilities if they are unwell.
  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all Canterbury DHB sites and will be provided if people don’t have them.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

By adhering to these conditions, you help keep our patients, staff, other visitors and yourself safe. We 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.

Exceptions to the ‘one visitor’ policy

  • Exceptions can apply in some circumstances (ie more than one visitor) where a trusted whānau member provides assistance, reassurance and other support for therapeutic care or on compassionate grounds – please talk to the ward’s Charge Nurse to discuss this before you come to hospital to visit. For whānau with an essential support role as a Partner in Care – please check with the ward’s Charge Nurse before you come to hospital to visit
  • People attending Christchurch ED or Ashburton AAU can have one support person with them
  • Women in labour and in the birthing suite can have two support people, and women on the Maternity Ward are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities at Christchurch Womens Hospital and other maternity units. Only one support person can be with each woman in the maternity ward, and one support person for maternity clinic appointments, no children are allowed to visit.
  • Parents/caregivers can be with their baby in NICU.
  • Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital (Except Children’s Haematology and Oncology Day patients where only one parent or caregiver is permitted, following a supervised negative RAT result)
  • Children who are inpatients, one other visitor (other than a parent or caregiver) is able to visit in consultation with the nurse in charge.
  • People requiring support when attending an appointment can have one support person. Please let the relevant service know if you need this so they are able to accommodate your request.

Exceptions for people with disabilities

An exception will be made for people with disabilities who are in hospital or have to attend an outpatient appointment – where they need a support person to access health services. For example, a sign language interpreter, support person for someone with a learning disability, or someone to assist with mobility. The support person is in addition to the one permitted visitor.

Face covering exemption cards

The Exemptions Team at the Ministry of Health is now responsible for processing requests for Face Covering Communication Cards.

Updated information about mask wearing, and how to request an exemption card can now be found here. People unable to request an exemption card online can call 0800 28 29 26 and select option 2, or text 8988

Patients and visitors should also read the additional more detailed visiting guidelines for each specific hospital.

More COVID-19 information

Requests for official information

​​​​People in New Zealand can request government information (official information) and can expect it to be made available unless there is a good reason to withhold it.

The Official Information Act 1982 (or OIA) enables citizens, permanent residents, visitors to New Zealand, and body corporates registered or with a place of business in New Zealand, to make a request for official information held by government agencies, including Canterbury DHB.

Potential temporary delays responding to OIA requests

Please be aware that while we will endeavour to respond to Official Information Act requests within the legislated time frame; due to the pandemic, staff throughout our system have been redeployed and are involved in the planning and preparation for dealing with Omicron/COVID-19.

This work will take priority and may create delays in our ability to respond to Official Information Act requests.

Have you checked our library of OIA responses?

Before you make a request for official information, you can check hundreds of our previous responses for official information in our Document library to see if your query has already been answered.

Frequently requested official information topics:

Please send us a request if you are unable to find the information you need.

Before you make an official information act (OIA) request, you can check our OIA responses in our Document library to see if your query has already been answered.

Your request should be as clear and specific as possible and should contain the following details:

  • your name

  • contact address (email or postal)

  • contact phone number​

  • details of the information you want​

Note: If they are not provided, we are allowed to ask you for information so that we can check you meet the eligibility requirements of the OIA, e.g. that you are either:

  • a New Zealand citizen
  • a permanent resident of New Zealand
  • currently in New Zealand
  • a body corporate incorporated in New Zealand.

You can send an OIA request using our website contact form, by selecting  'Enquiry' and then 'Official Information Act Request'.

By email: 
Use our website contact form, selecting 'Enquiry' and then 'Official Information Act Request'.

By post:  
Official Information Act Request 
c/o CEO, Canterbury District Health Board
PO Box 1600
Christchurch 8140

We will acknowledge your request and are required by law to give you our decision on your request as soon as possible, and no later than 20 working days after we receive your request.

If we need more time to make our decision on your request, for example if you are requesting a lot of information, we will let you know and provide an estimate of how long it will take. Where possible we will update you on the progress of our response to your request.

​​If you would like to know more about the OIA request process, the State Services Commision have published a very useful guide about how agencies respond to an OIA request.

Requesting official information is free, though we can charge a reasonable amount if it will take a lot of work to supply the information requested. Find out more in our guidance on how we will respond.

You will be informed of any charges before your OIA request proceeds and asked if you would like to continue with your OIA request.

You may wish to contact us in the first instance to see if we can resolve any issues. You can also make a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman if you:

  • have concerns regarding the decision we made on your request

  • were unhappy about the way your request was treated or processed

  • have concerns relating to the withholding of information, extending the timeframe to respond to you, any charges for providing the information you have requested, delays in providing you with a decision or the information, or your request being transferred.

The Office of the Ombudsman can investigate and review our decision and may make a recommendation to us if it is considered appropriate.

Information will be made available unless there is a good reason to withhold it. The Official Information Act sets out a number of reasons for which information may be withheld. These reasons include preservation of personal privacy and protection of information which has been received in confidence. 

However, even where there is a good reason for withholding it, information will still be released if there are overriding considerations which mean it is in the public interest to release it.

Page last updated: 10 February 2022

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