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 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

The Matatiki Story

The journey to wellness is one no child ever has to go through alone. No matter how short or long that journey may be, our Child Health services ensure Canterbury’s children (tamariki) are supported, cared for and treasured every step of the way.

More than five years ago, Canterbury DHB’s Child Health team leaders began working on a way to bring the wide variety of Child Health services under one umbrella.

“It’s important that tamariki know that no matter where they are, they have a soft place to land,” Director of Nursing, Christchurch Hospital Lynne Johnson says.

Working with Executive Director of Māori Health Hector Matthews, the name Matatiki – which is Māori for spring of water – was agreed upon as a reflection of the abundance of water and springs around the main hospital campus which feed into Ōtakaro (the Avon River). The name is also a good representation of regeneration, rejuvenation and the return to wellness.

“A spring provides one of the most essential ingredients of life and wellbeing: fresh, clean, running water. After oxygen, there is nothing more essential to wellbeing and indeed to life, so Matatiki is a metaphor for child health as a spring of wellness for tamariki and whānau,” Hector says.

The new brand incorporates backgrounds that have been used to create attractive curtains and decals for the walls and windows around the hospital.

“As our tamariki make their journey, they will be accompanied by some very special friends – our native birds and creatures,” Lynne says.

More than 70 critters, from insects and birds to fish and butterflies, have been chosen.

“From the tuna (longfin eel) and kōaro in our streams to the wētā and tunga rere (huhu beetle) in our trees, right up to our winged friends, the kererū (wood pigeon) and kāhu (harrier hawk), our young people will know they’re in a special place just for them when they see our beautiful creatures alongside them.”

Matatiki is a touchstone for our young people − a sign that this is a place of support where their care and wellbeing is paramount, and a place to give young people and their whānau the comfort of familiarity during what can be stressful times.

Matatiki has been supported in its own journey by the Māia Health Foundation and many clever, creative and compassionate people, Lynne says.

“We are grateful for the dedication and determination of everyone involved in bringing this concept to fruition, and we’re proud to share it with Canterbury.”

Page last updated: 12 January 2021

Is this page useful?