Media Releases

Please click on the title links below to view media releases in full.

For all media enquiries please contact the Communications Manager Mark Dawson at or phone 021 246 8126

Whanganui passes target for pre-schooler health checks

This year Whanganui surpassed the government target, completing 783 checks against a target of 780, and of the 20 district health boards in New Zealand, only Nelson Marlborough and South Canterbury did better.

Patience, kindness and vigilance with change in alert levels

Following the change in Covid-19 Alert Levels, local health sector leaders are encouraging people to be vigilant, prepared and calm.

Recovery media release #8 Survey feedback post lockdown – the good and bad  

As we moved out of lockdown, the Covid-19 Integrated Recovery Team (IRT) surveyed people in our region about their experience during Alert Levels 3 and 4 – the good and the bad.  

Minister Julie Anne Genter launches $40 million measles campaign

The Government is to invest up to $40 million towards a measles catch-up campaign to immunise 30,000 people aged between 15 and 30 years.

Change to opening hours for COVID testing centre

The Covid-19 community-based assessment centre in the Whanganui Hospital grounds has changed its weekend opening hours to 9am to 1pm Saturday and Sunday. The centre is open 8am to 4.30pm on weekdays.

‘I’m lucky to be alive’ – cancer survivor has a message for his mates

‘Blue’ Davies is a fit-looking 61-year-old who loves life, plays “a mean game of golf” and still enjoys a good party. But, with a rueful smile, he tells you: “I shouldn’t be here – I’m lucky to be alive.”

Infection control tips available for Air Chathams and others

The team at Air Chathams, which flies between Whanganui and Auckland, were recently given tips on personal protective gear and hygiene to complement their customer service and safety practices.

Immunisation campaign under way to combat viruses

The ‘Are You Up To Date’ campaign covers MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) immunisation for 13 to 29 years olds, and HPV (human papillomavirus) for 13 to 26 years.

July is Pink Ribbon breakfast month

July is the month for Pink Ribbon breakfasts, the Breast Cancer Foundation’s biggest fundraising effort.

Recovery media release #7 Community engagement follows pandemic response

Following the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Integrated Recovery Team is asking the community what projects and actions will help the Whanganui Region into the future.

Reflections on lockdown, resilience and beyond

Olive Redfern and Ron Kinsey – talk about their expertise in resilience, coping mechanisms and change following the response to Covid-19.

Recovery media release #6 Recovery team visits riverside market

Members of Whanganui’s Integrated Recovery Team (IRT) were at the riverside market on Saturday getting feedback from the public on the impacts of COVID-19 and the lessons learned from the response to the virus.

Hospital’s ‘place of peace’ is 50 years old

“A place of peace for people of all faiths”, Whanganui Hospital chapel was 50 years old this month.

Recovery media release #5 Recovery Team at the Markets

The Integrated Recovery team (IRT), a multi-agency team helping Whanganui Regional recover post Covid-19, will be at Whanganui River Markets on Saturday, 20 June.

Central CBAC Change of Hours

The Central Community Based Assessment Centre at Whanganui Hospital remains open and has changed its hours to 8am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. 


Work and Income working for community from home

Ministry of Social Development is working in partnership, through the Integrated Recovery Team, on social and economic recovery for the Whanganui region.


Hospital and health services mostly back to normal with caution under Alert Level 1

Whanganui District Health Board health services are back to business as usual for the most part under Alert Level 1, which began nationwide at 11.59 pm on Monday 8 June.

Recovery media release #4 Welfare and support directory available post COVID-19

The directory includes contacts for organisations who provide food and essential services, rural and business support, counselling and mental health services and more.

Recovery media release #3 International expert joins recovery team

The Integrated Recovery Team, based in Whanganui, is benefiting from the expertise of an international recovery and infrastructure development expert. 

Recovery media release #2 Community feedback assists recovery planning

Post-COVID-19, the Integrated Recovery Team has created a survey to assist in its understanding of people’s needs and experiences in the region. 

Recovery media release #1 Whanganui’s Emergency Operations Centre closes

Whanganui’s Emergency Operations Centre, led by the Whanganui District Health Board, has now closed, marking a formal transition to recovery for the region.

Media advisory #37 Fears allayed as rest home staff are tested for COVID-19

The prospect of undergoing a nasal swab for COVID-19 can understandably be a little daunting.

Media advisory #36 Hospital and health services here for you

Whanganui District Health Board is urging unwell people to seek the health care they need, without delay.

Whanganui leads the country in flu vaccine campaign

Whanganui is leading the way nationally for vaccinations against influenza.

Media Advisory #35 Testing strategy’s success shows value of collaboration

Whanganui District Health Board has the second highest COVID-19 testing rate in New Zealand.

Media Advisory #34 New hospital visitor guidelines for Alert Level 2

As New Zealand moves to Alert Level 2 in the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Whanganui Hospital is adjusting its visitor policy.

Extraordinary year for International Year of the Nurse and Midwife

Choosing nursing as a career provides you with skills which are transferrable to every domain in life, says WDHB’s director of nursing Lucy Adams.

Media advisory #33 Hand Hygiene Day takes on added significance

Tuesday 5 May, is World Hand Hygiene Day and this year the campaign has extra relevance with the threat of COVID-19.

Media advisory #32 Non-urgent surgeries re-started at Whanganui Hospital

With New Zealand moving to Alert Level 3, Whanganui District Health Board is gradually resuming working routines and catching up on deferred surgeries and procedures.

Media advisory #31 Two further people recovered but community must still be vigilant

The two people with COVID-19 in the Whanganui District – one who was a confirmed case and one who was a probable case – have both recovered.

Media advisory #30 Recycling and rubbish in Alert Level 3 in Whanganui District

The Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre and the Midtown Transfer Station will reopen on Tuesday, 28 April when the country moves into COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

Media advisory #29 Significant boost in Whanganui testing rates

The significant boost in COVID-19 testing over the past two weeks has provided reassurance that the Alert Level 4 lockdown measures in the Whanganui region have been effective, says Whanganui District Health Board chief executive Russell Simpson.

Media advisory #28 Probable case tests negative for COVID-19

The Whanganui District Health Board has today announced that the probable case of COVID-19 in the Whanganui region has tested negative from the most recent swab. This follows an earlier swab that produced inconclusive results.

Media advisory #27 Probable COVID-19 case reported in Whanganui region

The Ministry of Health has today announced a probable case of COVID-19 in the Whanganui region.

Media advisory #26 COVID-19 testing in Rangitikei District lead by GPs

Two general practice (GP) clinics - Marton’s Stewart Street Surgery and Bulls Medical Centre - will begin testing (swabbing) people in Rangitikei District for COVID-19 from Monday 20 April 2020

Media advisory #25 Confirmed case of COVID-19 in Whanganui Region – WDHB urges people not to be complacent

The Ministry of Health has announced one confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Whanganui Region.


Media advisory #24  Whanganui’s seven COVID-19 cases have all recovered  

All seven confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Whanganui District Health Board region have recovered.

Media advisory #23 Bin the backyard fire for now

Whanganui Fire and Emergency is seeing an increase in call-outs to backyard rubbish fires since the nationwide COVID-19 Alert Level Four lockdown began on 25 March 2020.

Media advisory #22 Combat sports star donates to fight against COVID-19 

Whanganui martial arts exponent Israel Adesanya has joined the fight against COVID-19.

Media advisory #21 How helplines are helping out

Whanganui’s Emergency Operations Centre Welfare Manager Lauren Tamehana says her team has been receiving around a dozen calls a day on the Council’s welfare line, or via Horizons 0800 number.


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