Guide for the media

All requests for patient conditions, staff and patient interviews, photographs or filming must be made through the communications team. 

After hours media line 027-599-9507

Under no circumstances may interviews, filming or photography be carried out on the hospital sites without permission from the communications team.

If you carry out filming or photography without permission, our hospital security teams will ask you to leave the site immediately. Contacting the communications team can save you time and trouble trying to track down medical staff and researchers who specialise in the subject you are covering.

Often we can put you in contact with a busy practitioner who may not otherwise understand the demands of your deadlines. View/download HBDHB Media Relations Policy.

Patient condition updates

  • We do not release any personal information regarding a patient without consent of the adult patient or, where the patient is a child, the consent of the parent or guardian.
  • We do release condition updates along with age-bracket and gender but will not confirm other details unless we have consent from the patient or their parent or guardian. 
    - Stable: condition unchanged 
    - Comfortable: vital signs stable, within normal limits, patient conscious and comfortable, indicators favourable 
    - Serious: vital signs stable and within normal limits, patient conscious but may be uncomfortable, indicators questionable 
    - Critical: Vital signs unstable, not within normal limits, patient may not be conscious, indicators unfavourable
  • While we respect that some families may want to share information with the media, we respect and support other families' right to decide whether or not to engage with the media.
  • Often patients/parents will agree to pass on additional details to our communications team. We will obtain consent for this release of information as quickly as possible and report these additional facts.
  • When patients or their family members decline consent for release of information and request that all information about them or their child remains confidential, we are unable to comment on such patients.
  • Confirmation of a patient's death occurs only with family consent and after notifying next of kin. Sometimes we will refer you to the police media liaison officer rather than comment ourselves.

Social media Transparency Statement

How we use social media

We use social media to share health updates, health system information, feedback opportunities, new content from our channels, insights into our work and job vacancies, and other relevant content.

We can’t provide health advice on social media. Consult your GP or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for health concerns. Dial 111 in emergencies.

If we perceive a risk of harm to someone, we may alert the Police or Netsafe. However, our accounts aren’t monitored 24/7 and aren’t for emergencies. If there’s immediate danger, call 111 or seek mental health services.

Comments and questions

We appreciate your feedback but can’t respond to all comments individually. Our accounts are monitored weekdays 9am-5pm and occasionally outside these hours.

We may share third-party content for informational purposes, without endorsing its accuracy. Following or liking a page doesn’t imply endorsement.

Our employees may participate in online forums. Their views are personal, even when they identify as our staff.

Our staff acting in an official capacity on social media will be responding through a Health New Zealand social media account, on behalf of the organisation. If an employee is speaking on their own social media account in an official capacity for Health New Zealand, they will make this clear in the content.

Enforcing community guidelines

Health New Zealand reserves the right to:

  • decide what content we think is inappropriate
  • hide or remove inappropriate content
  • ban users from social media communities.

We may delete content which contains:

  • racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other hate speech
  • statements that might be defamatory
  • confidential information (including personal details or health information)
  • misinformation or disinformation
  • spam or advertising
  • offensive language, abusive language, or threats
  • statements that are off-topic or derail the conversation
  • nudity, pornography, or child abuse
  • excessive violence
  • content that is illegal, gives instructions on illegal activity, or encourages people to break the law.

If you find content on any of our accounts which breaks these guidelines, please tell us. 

We may use comments and messages submitted to our social media pages for reporting, after removing names and other personal details.

Email hnzsocialmedia@health.govt.nz if you have concerns or questions about our social media, or any of our content.