How to make media and OIA requests
The communications team is your first point of contact for media enquiries, including requests for:
- patient condition updates (during office hours)
- staff and patient interviews
- permission to photograph or film on NMH property (hospitals, health hubs, community facilities)
There are separate points of contact for Official Information Act requests and for after-hours patient condition update requests.
Media enquiry contact details
Email the communications team: [email protected]
For urgent enquiries only: text or phone 027 446 6799
About patient condition requests
A patient condition update is a simple description of a patient's current status in hospital. It is limited to one of the following terms:
- comfortable: vital signs stable, within normal limits, patient comfortable
- stable: vital signs stable and within normal limits, patient may be uncomfortable
- improving: usually used after a patient has been in a serious or critical condition but has since stablilised
- serious: vital signs are not stable; the patient may be in an intensive care or high dependency unit
- serious but stable: this may indicate the patient condition is not expected to improve
- critical: vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits
- treated and discharged: the patient was discharged from hospital or the emergency department after being treated
- transferred: the patient has been transferred to another hospital (you will have to call that hospital)
- in triage: the patient is still being assessed in the emergency department
No further information will be provided without the patient's consent, or that of their guardian or spokesperson.
We can only confirm a patient's death with family consent and after notifying next of kin. Sometimes we will refer you to the police media liaison officer for confirmation of a death.
How to make a patient condition request during weekday hours
- email the communications team: [email protected]
- provide as much information as possible: name, gender, age, date and time of admission, where they were picked up from (ie, by ambulance or helicopter)
How to make a patient condition request after-hours, on weekends and public holidays
- contact the duty nurse manager at Nelson or Wairau hospital directly: Phone the operator on (03) 546 1800 and ask to speak to the duty nurse manager
- provide as much information as possible – name, gender, age, time and day of admission, where they were picked up from (ie, by ambulance or helicopter)
Guidelines for media visits and requests to interview, photograph or film
Contact the communications team (or a duty manager after-hours) for permission to access any of our hospitals, facilities or other property.
This includes circumstances where you may wish to interview, photograph or film patients or staff. The communications team will arrange consents; patient or parental permission alone is insufficient because there may be clinical or privacy considerations.
We protect the safety and privacy of our patients, visitors and staff
- all people interviewed, photographed or filmed must first give consent in accordance with the Health Information Privacy Code. This includes people who may be in the background.
- if asked, media should confirm how recordings will be used
- health and safety procedures must be observed
- requests to stop recording, or for media to leave, must be adhered to
- recording must not hinder access to any building or facility.
Official Information Act requests
Under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA), people in New Zealand can request information from district health boards. They can expect it to be made available unless there is a good reason to withhold it under the OIA.
Please email all OIA requests to: [email protected]
Useful guides on the State Services Commission website
Page last updated: 13/12/2019