Where to go

West Coast

Buller District, Grey District, Westland District

Abortions are available on the West Coast for pregnancies up to 12 weeks.

If your pregnancy is greater than 12 weeks you will be referred to the Gynaecology Procedure Unit (GPU) at Christchurch Women’s Hospital.

The First Step

While you no longer need a GP referral to have an abortion, if you have a GP we still recommend making an appointment (there is no cost associated with this visit) with them to discuss your options, confirm how many weeks pregnant you are and to make a referral if you decide to proceed. Your GP will then also arrange the swabs/bloods that are required before an abortion and this can help speed up the process.

There is public funding for appointments during early pregnancy, so your appointment to get a referral should be free if you are a New Zealand citizen or resident. As always, your medical appointment will be confidential.

Alternatively, you can contact the Gynaecology Procedure Unit (GPU) at Christchurch Women’s Hospital on 03 378-6386 and staff will make arrangements for you. GPU receives and organises West Coast abortion referrals however the procedure occurs on the West Coast for pregnancies less than 12 weeks. If your call goes to the answer phone, please leave your details for staff to call you back. GPU is open Monday to Thursday only.

For referrals

  • you can self-refer (Monday to Thursday 8am – 4pm or leave a message): 03 378-6386
  • you can be referred by your GP
  • call the Sexual Health Clinic in Grey/Westland (Monday 2pm to 6pm): 03 769-7400, extension 2874
  • call the Sexual Health Clinic in Buller (Monday 11am to 4pm): 03 788-9030, extension 8756

For counselling or support

  • the pregnancy counsellor / social worker at Buller Hospital in Westport (covers the region from Karamea to Reefton): 03 788-9030, or
  • the pregnancy counsellor / social worker for Hokitika, South Westland: 03 756-9700, or
  • the Social Work Clinical leader West Coast DHB: 03 769-7400 or 027 702-1302.

A Māori counsellor is based in Hokitika.

  • Phone: (03) 756 9700 ext 7907  / Cell phone 0272 445 999

  • The counselling service is free and confidential to any woman.

Follow-up counselling is available post procedure.

Medical Termination

Early Medical Abortion via Telehealth – this service is for people who are 9 weeks or less pregnant and meet the criteria to take the medication at home. The medications are sent to you, or alternatively we can make arrangements for you to pick them up with the process occuring at home, with follow up from the GPU nurses.

​Early Medical Abortion Outpatients – for people who are 9 weeks or less pregnant and do not wish to have a telehealth abortion or do not meet the criteria. An appointment will be made for you to see a Doctor at Te Nīkau. Follow up phone calls are provided by the GPU nurses.

Surgical Termination on the West Coast

For people who are 12 weeks or less pregnant. This is performed with sedation and local anaesthesia. You will have an initial virtual appointment with a Doctor from Te Nīkau Hospital and then you will come to Te Nīkau Hospital for the procedure. 

The procedure is done by vacuum aspiration under local anaesthetic with sedation (awake but sedated).

Terminations more than 12 weeks and 1 day pregnant

If your pregnancy is more than 12 weeks and 1 day you will be assessed at the Christchurch Gynaecology Procedure Unit and referred to Christchurch Women's Hospital.

Follow up

Follow-up is provided by the referring doctor or the operating doctor if preferred by the patient. Follow-up counselling is available in the Counselling Department if needed.