Information for visitors

Visitors policy

Last updated on 20 October 2022

We are regularly reviewing our visitor policy throughout the ups and downs of COVID-19 and are working hard to prioritise the safety of our vulnerable patients, while also understanding that this is a difficult time for whānau.


Updated Visitor Policy, as at Thursday 20 October

General Visitor Rules:

  • If you are currently unwell, please do not visit patients until you are well again. This is for your safety as well as our patients.
  • Open visiting hours for MidCentral facilities (including Palmerston North Hospital, Horowhenua Health Centre, and Te Papaioea Birthing Centre) will now be 2pm – 8pm. Patients are allowed multiple visitors over the age of 12, with a few conditions (see below, and department exceptions).
  • If a patient is a parent (or caregiver) of children under 12 years old, they are welcome to come and visit them. We request that other children under 12 are not brought on site.
  • Support people who are a part of our Mahi Tahi Kaimanaaki (a partner in care) programme are able to visit at any time, including outside of visitor hours. The only exception is if you are currently unwell, or required to isolate due to a positive COVID-19 test.
  • Per the Government’s requirements, masks are still required for visitors and staff when in hospital corridors, waiting areas, receptions and patient rooms.
  • Any decisions or exceptions to this policy will be decided by the Charge Nurse/Midwife Manager on the ward in question.

Emergency Department:

  • Within the Emergency Department patients may only have one support person (and no additional visitors at the same time) due to space and crowding restrictions. This is at all hours.

Neonatal Unit:

  • Any two visitors over the age of 12 years old are welcome to visit.
  • Visitors under the age of 12 years old are unfortunately not able to visit. If families have been admitted to the Neonatal Unit for more than a week, visits from the baby’s siblings can be arranged please discuss with your nurse.
  • If a mother is symptomatic of or tests positive for COVID-19, then unfortunately visitors are not appropriate. Any requests for visitors will need to be discussed and planned for with the Charge Nurse, Consultant and Infection Prevention and Control team.

Children’s Ward:

  • One parent or caregiver can stay with the patient overnight.
  • During the hours of 8am-8pm, any two visitors over the age of 12 years old are welcome to visit.
  • Siblings (under 12 years old) of a patient can visit between 2pm-8pm. This is in addition to the two visitors. Under 12 year olds who are not the patient’s siblings are unfortunately not able to visit.

RAT Tests:

In general, only symptomatic patients will be asked to complete a RAT test. That said, there will be exceptions for departments that may at times require RAT testing for certain vulnerable patient populations - for example patients undergoing active immunosuppressive treatment. Departments will follow their department protocol for these exceptions.

Please note: the visitor policy does not apply to patients. If you need heath support please come on site.