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Waihōanga under the Covid-19 ‘traffic light’ system

Our greatest concern always remains the health, safety and well-being of our guests, staff, and family who live on-site. We are therefore committed to reduce and slow the spread of Covid-19, while also finding a way for groups to continue to enjoy Waihōanga.

We were not able to open while the country was in lockdown at Levels 4 or 3. At Level 2, we were able to open, and many of our guests enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues (not over Zoom or Teams) and spend several consecutive days without wearing a facemask!

Under the traffic light system

Waihōanga only provides accommodation. We do not provide catering or refreshments. Our guests book the entire venue, and use it for a range of activities, including writing retreats, corporate away-days and strategy meetings, family gatherings, yoga retreats and other activities focussed on wellbeing.

Under the traffic light system that was implemented in December 2021, accommodation services can operate without restrictions, at all levels, as indicated on the government’s official Covid-19 webpage.

Some of the groups that book Waihōanga utilise the venue for what are officially termed gatherings or events and we ask all organisers to please check and comply with the rules for their particular booking.

In all cases, our guests will only have contact with Waihōanga staff who have been fully vaccinated, and who are wearing a face covering. This interaction is usually also brief, outdoors, and at an appropriate social distance.

Under Orange Traffic Light conditions, these events and gatherings can occur for up to 50 people without Waihōanga requiring evidence of a vaccine pass. We therefore strictly at cap the number of people allowed on site at a given time (including day guests) at 50. Government guidelines around gatherings at Orange.

Under Red Traffic Light conditions, these events and gatherings can occur for up to 100 people if everyone has a vaccine pass. This is far above our in-house capacity of 50. If My Vaccine Passes are not being used, gatherings are limited to 25 people under Red traffic light conditions. As a venue that provides groups with exclusive use of the site, we are allowed to switch between our mode of operation. We therefore require vaccine passes for all groups of over 25 people. Government guidelines around gatherings at Red.

Several of our bookings are organised or funded by organisations that have additional regulations. This is especially true for government departments and educational institutions, such as schools and Universities. In that case, we expect the organisers to research and comply with the regulations set by their organisations and to inform us of any additional Health and Safety measures that we need to be aware of. As mentioned above, our guests will only have contact with Waihōanga staff who have been fully vaccinated, and who are wearing a face covering.


Waihōanga provides accommodation with catering facilities (ie, a large kitchen), and does not provide food, drink or any catering service. (It therefore does not count as a hospitality venue, which carry different rules.) Guests at Waihōanga organise their own catering, which can include self-catering, hiring caterers or other food-suppliers, or a combination of these. While we list a number of options on our catering page, it is the responsibility of the person making the booking to ensure that all regulations are complied with as appropriate for the specific booking. (For example, vaccination status and use of face coverings if managing food on site.) Click here to read the government’s guidelines about Food and Drink service requirements to ensure you comply.


As with catering, we do not offer activities. We do offer ideas for groups who are looking to include extra activities in their stay, but it is the group’s responsibility to ensure that anyone they contract complies with all needs and restrictions relevant to their booking, including vaccination status.

Things that we’ve always done and will continue to do:

  • Professional cleaning of all spaces thoroughly between bookings.
  • Use of a professional laundry service for bedding, bath towels and dish towels, including cleaning of all bedding associated with beds that have been slept in.
  • Make the venue only available to one group at a time, regardless of size (so each group is essentially “a bubble”).

Things we have introduced as a result of Covid-19:

  • In advance of your arrival, we request contact information about all visitors to the site for contact tracing purposes (this is a legal requirement)
  • For groups over 25 people, while in the Red Traffic Light condition, we will also ask for evidence of vaccine passes for everyone who will come onto the site as part of your booking.
  • We will also ask about the composition of your group, for example, what proportion carry My Vaccine Pass, as this information will influence our own on-site health and safety protocols, and the degree to which we interact with the guests.
  • We increased the amount of hand sanitizer across the venue, especially in the communal kitchen and bathrooms
  • We increased the number of sleeping areas available to reduce the number of guests sharing a room.
  • We created new accommodation options for small groups (up to 13 people) that limit room sharing to single and double occupancy only, across 8 seperate sleeping spaces.

We also ask all bookings to please ask their participants to not participate if they

  • Are in a vulnerable or high risk group (eg elderly or compromised immune system)
  • Have been in contact with anyone known to be infected with Covid-19
  • Are feeling in any way unwell, including mild symptoms of a common cold.

    As ever, if you have any concerns or questions – or would like to make an enquiry – please send an email use our contact form or email [email protected].