Guide for the media

For after hours media enquiries, please ring +64 21 671 239 or email

Waikato District Health Board’s media and communications team provide the following services:

  • Press Office: responding to media enquiries, generating news stories.
  • Internal Communications: supporting the provision of information to staff within Waikato District Health Board.
  • Public Information: website, social media, annual reports and other corporate publications.
  • Design and printing (both digital and offset) for the DHB and organisations it funds.
  • Wayfinding and on screen patient programming.

Under no circumstances may interviews, filming or photography be carried out on the hospital sites without permission from media and communications. If you carry out filming or photography without permission, our hospital security teams will ask you to leave the site immediately.

Patient or parental permission alone is insufficient consent. Clinicians have the right to over-ride that consent taking into consideration patient safety, privacy for other patients and other factors such as infection control risks and staff concerns.

Communications consultants 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.

We have an in-house photography and videography department and can provide you with images of our hospitals, staff, board members and general images suitable for publication.

If you require permission to use a photograph or are looking for a specific photo contact (07) 839 8899 ext 98780 or email

Sometimes patients consent to our photographers taking photos for use by the media when medical staff do not approve visits by media. Find out more about medical photography(external link)

Our communications consultants are experienced in dealing with the media. Should your enquiry be urgent and you have had no reply within your deadline time, please contact, Lydia Aydon, +64 27 404 7368 or email

Patient 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 bands,gender and city/town of residence but will not confirm other details unless we have consent from the patient or their parent or guardian. Below is an explanation around what the patient updates mean:
    • Stable: condition unchanged
    • Serious, but stable: 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 werespect that some families may want toshare information with the media, we respectand 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 consultants.

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.