Waitaha Primary Health delivers some of Canterbury’s most important community health services.

After Hours

After hours help is only a phone call away. Phone your General Practice number outside normal business hours.

A qualified Triage Nurse will answer your call.

The nurse may:

  • give an answer to your health question
  • provide on-going monitoring
  • refer you to an after hours surgery
  • advise you to go to Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department
  • recommend a visit to your General Practice the next day
  • arrange for you to be seen in your home by a St John Paramedic
  • arrange transport to an after hours surgery or emergency department if required


Free After Hours Primary Care for Children under 14

If your child is aged 14 years or under, they are eligible for free after hours care. Your child only needs to be enrolled at a Canterbury General Practice.

After hours care means care and treatment provided outside 8.00 am to 6.00 pm on week days. On a public holiday after hours care is any time.

Please be aware that a call out or home visit is different. This will not necessarily be free of charge, given the high cost of providing this service.

Read more about after hours care for zero-fees for under-14s here.

Baby Feeding Service

Breastfeeding is an experience that can come with its ups and downs. Sometimes the best advice can come from other mothers and at other times you need specialist support. Waitaha Primary Health services offers a range of services to support you to breastfeed your baby.

Community-Based Lactation Consultation Support Service

We are close by – The Community Based Lactation Consultation Service provides specialist support for mothers with complex breastfeeding issues at community-based clinics; at home; through individual appointments; and through email, text or telephone follow-up if needed.

In the know –  Our Lactation Consultants make sure Waitaha Primary Health General Practice teams, breastfeeding support staff, and Māori and Pacific providers know about their service, and how they can refer you.

Online referral form.

Mother-4-Mother Peer Support Programme

Sometimes the best advice for breastfeeding mothers comes from other mothers with breastfeeding experience.

The Mother-4-Mother Breastfeeding Peer Support Programme is a Canterbury-wide service. Trained peer supporters attend breastfeeding support groups and provide one-to-one help when needed.

Below is a list of Mother-4-Mother Breastfeeding Peer Support groups linked to Waitaha Primary Health. All interested, pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, along with their babies, toddlers and supporters are welcome. Sessions are facilitated by trained Breastfeeding Peer Supporters.

A Mother-4-Mother supporter can help you by:
  • providing breastfeeding information during your pregnancy
  • helping you to find solutions to challenges via telephone, txt, email and face to face
  • assisting you join a breastfeeding group in your area, so that you can meet other mothers
  • referring you to health professionals if required, e.g. lactation consultants

Breastfeeding is great for your baby and you, so get to know a Mother-4-Mother supporter near you.

For information about this confidential free Mother-4-Mother service, contact the Baby Feeding Support Service by phoning 0800 800 743 ext 212, text 027 588 1007 or email claire.coates@waitaha.health.nz.

If you are a health professional, and would like to refer a mother for one-to-one breastfeeding peer support, please make a referral using the form in the link below.

Mother4Mother Referral Form Download.

Training to be a Mother-4-Mother Peer Support Peer

Are you interested in becoming a volunteer breastfeeding supporter or do you know someone who would be suitable?

Mother-4-Mother is an exciting programme which is supported by the Canterbury DHB.

We support and promote breastfeeding by identifying mothers who have experience in breastfeeding, then training and resourcing them to become volunteer breastfeeding supporters. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and their babies greatly benefit from these connections.

What qualities does a Mother-4-Mother supporter require?

She will have:

  • a desire to support other mothers to breastfeed
  • breastfed her own child
  • good communication and people skills
  • the ability to attend a short training course and make herself familiar with the resources provided
  • a willingness to volunteer her time to support mums e.g. via the telephone, text, face-to-face.
Training to be a Mother-4-Mother supporter is a commitment, but it has benefits;
  • supply of resource materials
  • contact and friendship with like-minded women
  • an opportunity for you to contribute to your community in a practical way
  • ongoing support and learning after training is completed
  • free training and the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills.
The Mother-4-Mother training will provide skills and knowledge on many topics including:
  • listening and communication
  • breastfeeding facilitation skills
  • sharing information to overcome problems
  • basic breastfeeding management
  • solutions for common breastfeeding challenges
  • when to refer someone

If you or someone you know is interested in this training and programme, phone 0800 800 743 ext 212, or text 027 588 1007

Email claire.coates@waitaha.health.nz.

Mother4Mother Peer Supporter Application Download.

Community Connector Ashburton District (only)

The Community Connector (CC) has been developed for the Ashburton district. The CC contacts isolated residents and connects them to social and community networks that they may not be aware are available to them. Through constant community engagement and building connections with many service organisations in and around the Ashburton area, the Community Connector has a thorough knowledge of the social, recreational and support options in each area.The role’s aim is to link people into local community services; to help strengthen the links between social, recreational and support services; and to help build a more connected district and community

Community Connector Ashburton Referral Form

Diabetes Care

Waitaha Primary Health’s General Practice teams provide a wide range of services to help keep you well if you have diabetes.

These include:

  • referral for retinal screening at Christchurch Hospital’s Eye Outpatient Department or a registered provider. This should occur at least every two years.
  • foot screening – this should also be done at least every two years
  • blood pressure
  • weight and body mass index
  • HbA1c blood test – to check your blood glucose levels (at least every year)
  • cholesterol blood test- check as required, following discussion with your General Practice
  • kidney function –checked with a blood and urine test.

Diabetes can result in complications for patients, but our General Practice teams are ready to listen, advise and either provide treatment or refer you appropriately.

Your practice team will be aware of other support services available to you. These may include a green prescription, education classes through the Diabetes Centre, and support from specialist services such as the community based diabetes dietitian and nurse specialists.


If you’re enrolled with a Waitaha Primary Health General Practice, you can discuss whether referral to our Community Dietitians Service is right for you.

WPH dietitians work locally and offer individual consultations and group education sessions.

Talk with someone in your General Practice about whether this service might be right for you if:

  • you have one or more poorly controlled illnesses (e.g. diabetes)
  • you are newly diagnosed with a chronic illness (long term conditions e.g. cardiovascular disease)
  • you are at high risk of developing a chronic illness (e.g. obesity)
  • you are experiencing financial or other difficulties which are affecting your health.

End of Life Palliative Care

Waitaha Primary Health is with you and your whānau through all of life’s stages, including End of Life. This type of care is available for people in the last 90 days of life, when they have an active, progressive disease or condition that does not respond to treatment.

There is no charge for the service which is accessed through General Practice teams.

If you or a member of your whānau are dying, your care will be tailored to suit your  individual needs and circumstances. There will be timely access to coordinated, quality palliative care services that are culturally appropriate. Specialist services will be involved as required.

Free After Hours Primary Care for Children under 14

If your child is aged 14 years or under, they are eligible for free after hours care. Your child does not need to be enrolled at a medical practice.

After hours care means care and treatment provided outside 8am to 6pm weekdays. On a public holiday after hours care is any time.

Please be aware that a call-out or home visit is different. This will not necessarily be free of charge, given the high cost of providing this service.

Read more about after hours care for zero-fees for under-14s here.


Vaccinations provide protection against contracting serious infectious diseases and help prevent disease from spreading through communities. Immunisation is for diseases proven to be prevented by vaccination.

Several immunisation programmes, for children and adults (such as the elderly and pregnant women) are available across Canterbury. These target groups are considered to be at increased risk of developing complications from some diseases. It’s important to remember these complications may have long term consequences.

  • The immunisation programmes are part of New Zealand’s National Immunisation schedule, which is designed to provide the greatest level of protection to children and to certain groups of adults (such as older people).
  • The National Schedule offers vaccination, free of charge, against vaccine preventable diseases to children aged from six weeks to 16 years of age.
  • So children can get the most benefit from the vaccines, it is important that they receive vaccinations at the recommended times, including booster doses. Parents/caregivers will receive reminders when vaccinations are due and be asked to make an appointment with their doctor/nurse.
  • Older people and those with chronic medical conditions are at risk of developing serious complications if they have influenza or shingles. As a result, the influenza and shingles vaccines are free of charge to patients who meet the criteria. Information about vaccination programmes can be found on the following websites.

National-Immunisation-Schedule-October 2020

Find out more:

Immunisation Advisory Centre
Freephone 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863)
Ministry of Health – Immunisation for Pregnant Women


Mental Health

Most people will at some time in their life experience a mental health concern.

Because everyone’s needs are different, Waitaha Primary Health offers a range of mental health services, including expert help and links to community support agencies.


Brief Intervention Coordination Services

Our Brief Intervention Co-ordinators are experienced mental health clinicians who provide support for people with mild to moderate mental health concerns. The service is available for people over  the age of 18 with a referral from a member of their primary health care team. You can receive up to five free sessions.

Working with a clinician you will develop personal (psychologically based) strategies. Community support agencies are also available if you need ongoing support.


Youth Brief Intervention Coordinator (YBIC)

Our Youth Brief Intervention Co-ordinators are experienced youth mental health clinicians, based in North Canterbury.

Youth Brief Intervention Co-ordinators provide support and assistance to young people aged between 12-19 with mild to moderate mental health concerns.

To access this service you will need a referral from your General Practice or a community agency.

You can receive up to five free sessions. A clinician specialising in youth mental health will work with you on developing personal (psychologically based) strategies. Community support agencies are also available if you need on-going support.


Rural Mental Health Specialists (RMHS)

Because we’ve worked closely with people in rural communities for a long time, we understand the mental health challenges that can be faced by busy people working in isolated areas.

We will connect with you to understand your mental health concerns and put you in touch with community agencies for ongoing support if needed. Our experienced mental health clinicians provide short sessions to work in with your busy day, either face-to-face or by Telehealth.

We’ll also work with your primary care team, including your GP, to review your mental health concerns, make sure you get the right referrals, and work with you on your road to recovery.


Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Every person in our community deserves to have the best mental health possible, and to be able to have timely, appropriate access to experienced mental health practitioners when they are needed.

Waitaha Primary Health’s Consultant Clinical Psychologist not only works with patients who need specialist care, but is also involved in ensuring that our mental health teams are the best people for the job, and that our services across Canterbury are well managed.

Pasifika Support

If you are a Pasifika patient, enrolled at one of Waitaha Primary Health’s General Practices, we will provide extra support to help you and your whānau access health services. We work in partnership with Whānau Ora Navigators and Practice Support Navigators.

Fill out our online Pasifika navigator referral form.

Practice Support Navigator

Our Practice Support Navigators work with General Practice Teams to ensure they can access additional health and social services for their patients. They will then work with you and your whānau as you work towards your health goals. This is a free service for people enrolled in our practices and their whānau.

Practice Support Navigators are available to support Pasifika patients to improve their health and help them access the services they need. Practice Support Navigators also work in partnership with Whānau Ora Navigators.

Fill out our online practice support navigator referral form.

Stop Smoking Programme

Waitaha Primary Health can help you right from your decision to stop smoking, through to reaching your goal of becoming smokefree. Our partnership with Te Ha Waitaha stop smoking programme means support is available where you need it across the Canterbury region.

Every individual needs different support. You may live in an isolated rural area or would like to be visited at home. You might prefer texting, phone calls, video calls or emails. A friendly Stop Smoking Practitioner will work with you to set a quit date and to become smokefree in a way that works for you. We also offer free nicotine replacement therapy (patches, lozenges, gum) to help with any withdrawal symptoms.


How to join

If you are enrolled with a Waitaha Primary Health practice you can join this programme. Referrals are made through GPs, midwives, hospitals, other health professionals, and community organisations.

Whānau Ora Navigators

Whānau Ora Navigators support whānau to make their own decisions about their future so they can increase their wellbeing, lead full lives and achieve their aspirations.

Whānau ora – whānau wellness, is centered around seven pou or pillars – including whānau becoming self-managing and empowered leaders, whānau leading healthy lifestyles, and whānau confidently participating in Te Ao Māori – Māori society.

Referrals come either through Waitaha Primary Health General Practice teams or directly from whānau who are enrolled with a Waitaha Primary Health practice (or are intending to be).

Fill out our online Whānau Ora Referral referral form.

Women’s Health

Our health care teams provide regular check-ups, care and treatment for a range of women’s health issues.

If you have any other questions or concerns about your sexual or reproductive health, start with your General Practice Team. They are always ready to listen and talk with you.

If you haven’t enrolled with a General Practice yet, take the time to do it now. Find a GP and enrol.


Breast Screening

The national Breast Screening Programme provides:

  • two-yearly screening mammograms for women aged 45 to 69 years.
  • at-risk screening for women with increased risk of breast cancer (mother, sister, aunty diagnosed with breast cancer).

Ask someone in your General Practice team (such as your GP) about this programme and whether you’re eligible for it, or you can contact BreastScreen Aotearoa directly on 0800 270 200.


Cervical Screening

A woman’s best protection against developing cervical cancer is having regular smear tests.
The National Cervical Screening Programme is available to all women in New Zealand aged between 25 and 70 years. This screening test checks for abnormal cell changes to the cervix, reducing the risk of women developing cervical cancer.

Talk to your primary health care team to see if you are eligible for funded screening.


Low Cost Access to Contraception and Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC)

Access to contraception gives autonomy to girls, women and couples to choose the timings of their pregnancies. Supporting women to make a decision about their own fertility and when to have children helps prevent unplanned pregnancies.

Access to long acting  reversible contraception, is for low income or at risk women to be able to have funded LARC’s fitted or removed within General Practice.

Youth Sexual Health

If you’re a young person under 18 years, you can receive free and confidential consultations about sexual and reproductive health.

Come and see us about preventing, detecting or treating any sexual or reproductive concerns.


Hype Youth Health Centre

If you’re a young person living in the Ashburton District, Hype is here for you.

Hype Youth Health Centre offers free and confidential health services for 12-24 year olds in the Ashburton District.

The centre aims to improve health and wellbeing through providing information, resources, and access to health services. Hype can also be accessed by parents who are looking for information or resources about youth issues.

Hype offers information and resources on sexual health, alcohol and drugs, mental health, nutrition and body image, legal advice, budgeting, managing stress, safe partying, housing, careers, and quitting smoking. It also provides free condoms, sanitary items, and pregnancy tests.

The centre can connect you with agencies and services throughout the district so that you don’t have to go it alone. These include doctors, lawyers, counsellors, Work and Income (WINZ), alternative education providers, dentists, and addiction services.

Hype Youth Health Centre is not-for-profit and receives funding support from Waitaha Primary Health.