All hospital visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask. Expand this message for information about visiting hospital.

Last updated:
13 March 2023

Some visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury hospitals and health facilities remain in place, but we have relaxed others.

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

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 may have more than one visitor, except in some situations such as multi-bed rooms where it can cause overcrowding.
  • Surgical/medical masks are recommended to be worn at all sites. Masks will be provided if you don’t have one.
  • For Specialist Mental Health Services everyone is strongly encouraged to wear a face mask in all inpatient areas and areas where consumers are receiving care (i.e. community appointments, home-visits, transporting people). Discretion may be applied in cases where masks impair your ability to communicate effectively.
  • Visitors must not eat or drink in multibed rooms because of the increased risk when multiple people remove their face 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.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • People can 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.

All of our Hospitals

Visiting hours for our hospitals have returned to pre COVID-19 hours with the exception of Christchurch Women’s Hospital.

All visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask.

Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital and visitors are now allowed, except for the Children’s Haematology and Oncology Day stay where just one parent/caregiver is able to attend their appointment with their child. Exceptions by special arrangement only.

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

More COVID-19 information

New Central City Primary Birthing Unit for Christchurch

Monday 20 December 2021Media release3 minutes to read

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

New Central City Primary Birthing Unit for Christchurch

Norma Campbell, Executive Director – Midwifery and Maternity Services Canterbury and West Coast DHBs, is delighted to announce that a new central city primary birthing unit for Christchurch has been approved by the DHB Board and Minister of Health.

Primary 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 family and whānau.

The new unit, which will have four birthing rooms, 20 post-natal rooms, a whānau room, an education room and six assessment rooms, will be located at 68 St Asaph Street by the Christchurch Hospital Campus.

“This is great news for our community as a central city birthing unit is something we have wanted for a long time,” says Norma.

“Māmā who birth in a primary unit, supported by a lead maternity carer (LMC), are more likely to have a normal birth. The units provide a more calming space than a tertiary hospital and the risks of complications are greatly reduced.

“The added bonus of this new facility is that it’s less than five minutes by car to Christchurch Women’s Hospital if a transfer is required.

“For Māori, local midwife-led care in a setting where whānau support is easily accommodated is a cultural expectation, so this new unit also presents an opportunity to improve the equity of our maternity care,” says Norma.

It is anticipated that the new unit will open in early 2023 and that 1000-2400 people will birth there each year.

Noordanus Architects have been engaged to complete the design of the unit, along with a project group to consider the concept plans. The project group includes Canterbury DHB maternity staff and LMCs including Māori midwives, along with Manawhenua Ki Waitaha representatives to ensure we have a culturally appropriate facility and service delivered in a Kaupapa Māori framework.

“It’s incredibly important that we have a more equitable service delivery that better meets the needs of our diverse population,” says Michelle Turrall, chair of Manawhenua Ki Waitaha.

“The design of the unit will reflect tikanga values, to preserve the tapu of childbirth and to keep everyone safe.”

The unit will be staffed by midwives employed by Canterbury DHB alongside LMCs who work in the community to support pregnant people throughout their pregnancy, birth and postnatal care. 

The building has been leased by Canterbury DHB and will undergo extensive re-design and fit out to transform it into a welcoming, modern, fit-for-purpose facility for māmā. It has ample parking as well as space to host LMC and obstetrics clinics.

More information about our birthing options in Canterbury can be found here



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Page last updated: 16 June 2022

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