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

New Canterbury DHB facilities at Toka Hāpai (Selwyn Health Hub) to open

Monday 30 May 2022Canterbury DHB News3 minutes to read

Entrance of Toka Hāpai (Selwyn Health Hub)

New Canterbury DHB facilities at Toka Hāpai (Selwyn Health Hub) to open

The Oromairaki Maternity Unit at the Toka Hāpai (Selwyn Health Hub) will open tomorrow with other services set to follow.

Canterbury DHB services in the building include the Oromairaki Maternity Unit, the Community Dental Service, Child Adolescent and Family Mental Health Service (South), Public Health Nursing, Older Person Health and Rehabilitation, along with visiting services: Vision and Hearing Service and Adult Community Therapy. 

Dr Rob Ojala, Executive Director Infrastructure, says that Canterbury DHB welcomed the opportunity to work the Selwyn District Council on this project.

“Selwyn is the fastest growing district in Canterbury and this gave us an opportunity to locate many our services together and bring new services to the region so that people can get the care they need closer to home,” says Dr Rob Ojala.

“The strategic location – just 50 metres from St John headquarters and a 15-minute ambulance ride to Christchurch Women’s Hospital along the newly completed motorway– also made it an ideal space for our new modern maternity space.

“Combining the space for multiple services is also really helpful for our young people accessing mental health services as it normalises their health journey.”

Originally proposed in 2017, the Canterbury DHB Board approved a leasing agreement with Selwyn District Council in July 2019 with design meetings beginning in September of that year. Construction commenced in 2020 and the construction cost for the fit out was $4.1m. There are other tenants in the building independent of the Canterbury DHB.

The Oromairaki Birthing Unit increases postnatal beds in the Selwyn district from six to ten. It also contains two birthing suites, two maternity assessment rooms (one of which can be used as an additional birthing room), and a whānau room.

“Our community birthing units provide a safe place where healthy pregnant people with no complications can give birth, then stay for a day or two afterwards, supported by whānau,” says Norma Campbell, Executive Director Midwifery and Maternity Services.

“We encourage all of our pregnant people with low risk pregnancies to use our community birthing units supported by their lead maternity carer (LMC). This wonderful modern space provides a relaxed homelike environment allowing for an uninterrupted birth and adjustment to parenthood.

“We have been honoured by Te Taumutu Rūnanga who have gifted us with the precious taonga Oromairaki. Meaning ‘resonating sounds of heaven’, Oromairaki celebrates the call of Hine-te-iwaiwa, the sighs of motherhood and the cries of new life.”

All staff from Lincoln Maternity Hospital are transferring to Oromairaki. No decision has yet been made on what will happen to the Lincoln Maternity Hospital site.


For further information, contact:


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Page last updated: 30 May 2022

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