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

Help for you

Unable to visit someone in hospital? We can help you stay connected.

Email your message/pictures to stating who it is from, who it is for and which hospital/ward they are in. Our volunteers will make sure your message gets to them.

A free Interpreter Service is available at no cost if you do not speak English as your first language, or have hearing loss and use NZ Sign Language. Please discuss this with a member of your healthcare team (e.g. nurse, doctor) to arrange an interpreter.

For areas outside Christchurch City (such as for Ashburton Hospital, Kaikōura Health, and other rural hospitals), ask staff about interpreters.

The interpreter service is:

If no interpreter is available, staff will contact a community provider or the Interpreting NZ Telephone Service.

Language interpreters do not translate papers or documents.

If you have health documents in another language, you can arrange to translate them through credentialed translation provider MLT Translation Centre, or ask a member of your health care team to arrange this.

If you or your family need accommodation during your treatment period, you should discuss this with your regular health care team in your home town. A social worker or the person in charge of your care can give you accommodation information.

Hauora Māori Māori Health Services also runs a low-cost whānau accommodation service for those eligible.

The hospital chaplains have been theologically and clinically trained and licenced to work in a hospital.

The chaplaincy team offers confidential compassionate support, prayer, and a listening ear in times of stress or loneliness; before and after surgery; for people experiencing loss and bereavement and around matters of faith and illness; and in celebrating the joys of life. They are available for prayer and church sacraments.

Many hospitals have an interfaith chapel, or a quiet place for prayer and reflection.

The chaplains are available to people of all faiths and no faith, and are here to support people of all religions and cultures. They can also contact your own religious or spiritual advisor and ask them to visit (Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.).

Arrange a visit from a chaplain

Your nurse, social worker, ward clerk or doctor can arrange for a chaplain to visit you, or you can ask to speak with a chaplain when you see them in the ward.

Blessing, rituals and ceremonies

Hospital chaplains provide appropriate blessing rituals for patients, their families and staff. This includes blessing rooms after death, equipment, wards, and workplaces.

Contact a chaplain

To contact our chaplains, please use the following numbers:

Christchurch Hospital and Christchurch Women’s Hospital Chaplains

Phone 03 364 0640 and then go through to Extension 89555.  If the phone is not answered, please leave a message and the chaplains will respond. After hours and weekends, you can ask to be put through to the on-call chaplain.

Burwood Hospital Chaplains

Phone 03 383 6836 and then go through to Extension 99762.  Please leave a message if chaplains are not available.

Hillmorton Hospital Chaplains

Please contact a chaplain, contact details and availability are listed in the table below.

Hillmorton ChaplainAvailabilityPhoneEmail
Catholic Chaplain Joan Hough
Tuesday to Thursday
(and on call if required)
Chaplain Reverend Wyatt Butcher
Tuesday to Friday027
Chaplain Bridie Marsden-Boyd
Monday and Wednesday021 976

Hauora Māori - Māori health services in Canterbury give patients and whānau culturally appropriate advice and support.

Specially trained staff give āwhina/help and tautoko/support with cultural issues and education on tikanga (values and beliefs). The service can also help you find organisations and resources to support your recovery.

The services available are:

  • Hauora Māori – Māori Health Services (formerly known as Ngā Ratonga Hauora Māori) at Christchurch Hospital - 03 364 0640, ext. 86160
  • Ranga Hauora and Te Huarahi Oranga at Burwood Hospital - Kaiwhakahaere 03 337 7899 or Awhina 03 383 7552
  • Te Korowai Atawhai at Hillmorton Hospital - 03 339 2864
  • Diabetes and Cardio Respiratory Integrated Specialist Services (CRISS) Māori health workers - 03 364 0860
  • Haematology Māori health nurse

Staff can sometimes arrange video conferences with your GP or practice nurse and family.

A video consultation uses a video link to allow you and your health care professional (clinician) to see and hear each other, even though you are not in the same place. They can save you time, money and may be preferred if you can’t travel far.

Things to remember for a video conference:

  • Make sure you go to the right place
  • Bring a whānau/family member or support person if you want
  • Arrive 15 minutes early
  • Bring test results, medications, and x-rays with you if mentioned in your appointment letter
  • Speak in your normal voice
  • Ask questions at any time
  • Let your clinician know if you can’t see or hear them clearly
  • Tell your clinician if you want to end the video conference at any time

If patients/clients and whānau/families have concerns about deterioration while in hospital there is an escalation of care process for deteriorating patients/clients called ‘Kōrero mai – Talk to me’ they can use, find out more in our Kōrero mai – Talk to me section

If you have concerns about your care that are not relating to a patient/client deteriorating, you can talk to staff, managers, customer support, or the Consumer Advocacy Service. Find out more about this in our If you have concerns about your care section.

More information about your rights as a health consumer can be found in the Your rights section of our During your visit to hospital page.






Staff and support services are available to help you when you have a bereavement.


Visit the Healthinfo website for advice on what to do when someone dies.

General Practice team/family doctor

You may qualify for funded short term counselling sessions through your GP.

The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand

Many funeral homes offer grief support and information.


National organisation offering support services, information, counselling and support groups.
Phone: 0800 299 100

Nurse Maude

Bereavement support and grief counselling services.
Phone: 03 375 4274


24-hour community helpline.
Phone: 0800 543 354

Victim Support

24-hour support for people affected by crime or trauma
Phone: 0800 842 846

Find out about volunteering at Burwood Hospital and Christchurch Hospital.

Volunteers at Burwood Hospital

There are volunteering opportunities at Burwood Hospital, with many ways you can give your time to support patients, staff and visitors.

About the Burwood Hospital Volunteers

The Burwood volunteers are a group of people who offer their time freely to support staff, patients, family, and visitors of the hospital. The aim of their work is to improve patient care and visitor experience. Volunteers are not there to do the work of the paid staff, but to enhance it. There are many ways volunteers make a difference through their work in the hospital. We are looking for reliable people who can work well with little supervision. Volunteers should be polite, kind, and committed.

What do the Burwood Volunteers do?

Volunteers undertake many different roles throughout the hospital from helping visitors to find their way around the building, to assisting in the garden, to working in the Gift Shop. Burwood Volunteers offer a variety of work for anyone interested in giving back to the community.

Volunteer roles include:

  • Meet and Greet
  • Mobile Library trolley
  • Music Therapy – piano players
  • Pet Therapy
  • Working in the Gift Shop
  • Swimming assistants in the Hydrotherapy pool
  • Ward Volunteers
  • Volunteer Garden assistants

The Burwood Volunteers also support the New Zealand Spinal Trust by finding volunteers who are interested in supporting those with spinal cord impairments (SCI). Volunteers can help support the rehabilitation process, bridging the journey from hospital back into the community. Regular opportunities for volunteers include assisting with monthly barbecues, driving people to rugby games during the season, swimming support, and various other community activities.

The Kōwhai Companion Program

This program recruits and trains volunteers to provide person-centred emotional support and practical assistance to vulnerable patients at Burwood Hospital.

What type of patients do Kōwhai Companions support?

  • Patients with memory and thinking problems or who have dementia
  • Patients who are at risk of developing delirium
  • Patients who have vision and hearing impairment
  • Patients who require encouragement with eating and drinking
  • Other taua and pōua (older patients) who would benefit from someone spending one-to-one time with them.

What do Kōwhai Companions do?

The Kōwhai Companion role provides similar support to that which would be given by whānau / family or carers. In this way, the program is also designed to support whānau or carers when they are unable to be with their loved one. Consent from the patient or their whānau is requested by staff before a Kōwhai Companion can visit a patient.

The Kōwhai Companion firstly gains an understanding of the patient’s background, whānau / family members, personal preferences and activities they enjoy using information on a referral form and creating a Kōwhai conversation chart. The role of the Kōwhai Companion includes:

  • Sitting with a patient on a one to one basis, or sometimes a small group
  • Talking to the patient about current events and surroundings
  • Assisting with making the patient comfortable to support their sleep and rest – this may include adjusting pillows or providing warm drinks
  • Making sure the patient is wearing their glasses and hearing aids, and checking that these are clean and working properly
  • Encouraging the patient with eating and drinking and regularly offering fluids to drink
  • Assisting the patient with completion of their menus
  • Accompanying the patient with walking as advised by the nurses or physiotherapist

How to become a volunteer at Burwood Hospital

Enquiries for becoming a Burwood Volunteer:
Phone: 03 383 9499  

For Enquiries for becoming a Kowhai Companion
Phone: 021 374 987


Volunteers at Christchurch Hospital and Christchurch Women’s Hospital

Hospital volunteers help patients, visitors, and staff in a variety of ways including:

  • Helping you find your way around the hospital
  • Running the Christchurch Hospital gift shop
  • Giving company to patients
  • Assisting with play therapy and pet therapy
  • Delivering packages
  • Assisting with other tasks such as calling taxis and reading
  • Fundraising

How to become a volunteer at Christchurch Hospital

Enquiries for volunteering at Christchurch Hospital:

Facebook: Christchurch Hospital Volunteers

Volunteering at other hospitals

If you would like to volunteer at one of our other sites or services, please contact that site or service directly.

Free public Wi-Fi internet access is available in most hospital areas.

Please be respectful when using your electronic devices in hospitals – turn the volume down or use headphones.

Instructions to use the free Wi-Fi service

  1. When you turn on your Wi-Fi on your mobile device or laptop computer, select “DHB Public Wi-Fi” from the list of options.
  2. Your device should automatically open a web page where you can accept the terms and conditions.
  3. You will be able to browse the internet or access your emails.

For more information read our Wi-Fi FAQs below or view more information about Connecting to Public Wi-Fi Mobile devices.

Wi-Fi Frequently Asked Questions

Which Te Whatu Ora sites provide free public Wi-Fi?

Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch Women's and outpatient areas have the free service. Some areas of Burwood and Hillmorton Hospitals also have free public Wi-Fi.

Exclusions include the Great Escape Cafe in Christchurch Hospital and the University of Otago, Christchurch School of Medicine.

How will people know exactly where it is available?

There are signs, posters and other promotional materials to make it clear where the Wi-Fi service is available.

How easy is it to use and how reliable is the service?

The service is delivered over high-speed fibre infrastructure and is reliable. Priority is given to clinical data.

Who is paying for the service?

Te Whatu Ora provides the infrastructure and 2degrees provides the internet feed.

What restrictions are there?

  • Sites and content deemed inappropriate will be blocked when using the service
  • It is not possible to download movies and other large files
  • Users can only access help information through this website
  • Content accessed by people within Te Whatu Ora facilities on their own network is subject to Te Whatu Ora policy

TVs are available for patients and visitors to watch in patient lounges, waiting areas, and some wards and patient rooms. TVs brought from home will not work in our hospitals.

Patients and visitors are welcome to watch streaming videos on their phones, tablets or notebook computers as long as they do not disturb other patients or staff. There is a free Wi-Fi service available in most areas of our hospitals.

 TIP//  To avoid disturbing fellow patients, please use headphones if you are watching something in a ward.

Cafe opening hours are listed below, our hospital pages have additional details about shops and other facilities available at each site.

Ashburton Hospital

Burwood Hospital

Christchurch Hospital

Christchurch Women’s Hospital

Hillmorton Hospital

Kaikōura Health

The Princess Margaret Hospital

ALL hospitals and health facilities

CafesOpening hoursPayment Method
Great Escape Café9am - 7.30pm, 7 days.Cash and Cashless payments
Willow Lane, Waipapa8am - 8pm, 7 days.Cashless transactions only
Kanuka, Outpatients7am - 3.30pm, Monday - Friday.​Cashless transactions only
PeaBerry, Waipapa
7am - 3.30pm, Monday - Friday.Cashless transactions only
Parkside Café
7am - 3pm, Monday - Friday.Cash and Cashless payments
Christchurch Women's Hospital Café8am - 2pm, Monday - Friday.Cashless transactions only
Ashburton Hospital Café8am - 3:30pm, Monday - Friday.Cash and Cashless payments
Burwood Travis Courtyard Café8am - 4pm, 7 days.Cash and Cashless payments
Hillmorton Hospital Avon Café8am - 3pm, Monday - Friday.Cash and Cashless payments

You can help your own recovery by learning about your condition on our HealthInfo Canterbury website.

You have the right to see your health record and other information Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury holds about you.

There are three ways to request a copy of your medical record and patient info from the Patient Information Office:

Stop For Your Op

Te Hā - Waitaha Stop Smoking Canterbury offers free tailored stop smoking support to anyone in Canterbury. Free nicotine replacement patches, gum and lozenges are

Studies have shown better outcomes when patients stop smoking before surgery, including much lower rates of wound infection, cardiovascular complications, reduced hospital stay and lowered need for repeat surgery.

How long before your operation should you stop?

You should aim to be smoke and vape free for as long as possible prior to your

The earlier you stop the better, but shorter periods of smokefree time can still help.

Here are some of the benefits of quitting smoking:

  • Within 6 to 8 weeks lung function is improved, blood is less sticky and thick and blood flow improves. Your response to anaesthetic drugs will also improve.
  • Within 3 weeks wound healing has begun to improve.
  • Within 1 day delivery of oxygen to cells is improved.
  • Remaining smokefree after your surgery is the best thing you can do for your health. It is important you do not start smoking again, even if you only quit just before surgery. Allow your body time to recover and heal properly.

Remember to tell your surgeon and anaesthetist if you are currently smoking or vaping.

Contact Te Hā - Waitaha if you wish to quit: 0800 425 700 or


Crutches, walking frames and other Physiotherapy (physio) and Occupational Therapy (OT) equipment can be returned to Christchurch Hospital and Burwood Hospital.

To return hospital medical equipment at Christchurch Hospital

  • Come in the main campus entrance off Riccarton Avenue.
  • Drive past the Emergency Department entrance (on your left) and down the ramp in the lower ground car park.
  • Drive around the car park back towards the exit.
  • There is a trolley on the left near the double doors where you can leave the equipment.

To return hospital medical equipment at Burwood Hospital

Hospital medical equipment includes (but is not limited to):

  • Walking frames
  • Shower stools
  • Toilet frames
  • Bed levers
  • Crutches
  • Pulse oximeters
  • Any hospital equipment you no longer need.

If you lose personal property while in hospital, please call the hospital concerned, and ask for “lost property”.

Please provide the following details:

  • Your name
  • A contact phone number
  • What items you have lost
  • Where you lost them, e.g. Emergency Department, Ward 10 etc
  • When you lost them, e.g. between 3pm and 10pm on Tuesday

Page last updated: 10 April 2024

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