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No illegal or unethical practice by Peter Hausmann

17 March 2008

Media Release: Healthcare of New Zealand

The Director-General of Health’s independent investigation has found no illegal or unethical practice by Healthcare of New Zealand Managing Director, Peter Hausmann, in relation to his role on the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board.

The report finds that Peter Hausmann was “committed to improving the health outcomes for the HBDHB region,” and that his disclosures relating to his involvement with Healthcare of New Zealand were “entirely appropriate”.

HCNZ Board member Ken Douglas said the Board of Healthcare of New Zealand, and its Managing Director, Peter Hausmann, welcomed the release of the report, and its findings.

“The report has shown clearly that Peter’s actions have always stood the test of legal practice and ethical practice.”

The only points noted in the report that Peter Hausmann could have improved on were in the area of what the review panel has called ‘good practice’.

“The report shows clearly that Peter behaved honourably and in the best way he could in the context of a Board environment where poor management of conflicts of interest was the norm.

“The report finds that in relative terms, any actions of Peter Hausmann’s that may have fallen short of best practice were less serious than other mismanagements of conflict of interest that the Panel discovered at HBDHB.”

The report says:

“There was a culture and environment of substantial inadequacies in the management of conflicts of interest and in relationships and communications between Board members and management. What Peter Hausmann did in relation to Wellcare reflected the environment that existed when he joined the Board. Indeed, relative to other Board inadequacies, this was at the lower end of the scale.”

The report finds that Peter’s disclosures were more detailed than those of any other member on the Board:

“The Panel notes that Peter Hausmann’s disclosure statement was a substantially longer disclosure than any other Board member had made for their interests at the time.”

Even so, the Panel notes that an even higher standard should be set, and notes that this standard needs to be made clear for all DHBs and DHB board members around the country.

“These are constructive suggestions.”

Mr Douglas said the board of HCNZ had been confident that Peter Hausmann’s actions would withstand full scrutiny.

“In fact, they have withstood an even higher degree of scrutiny than any other Board member in the country has ever been subjected to, through this review panel process. That even after this degree of scrutiny, in an enormously complex environment, the panel could find no evidence of illegal or unethical action, is no surprise to us,” Mr Douglas said.

“For twenty years our company has been committed to operating openly and transparently and to acting with integrity at all times. These are the values that have guided Peter Hausmann, and the review panel report shows this.

Mr Douglas said that Peter Hausmann and the Board and staff of HCNZ had consistently respected the Review Panel process, and had refrained from commenting publicly.

“This has been no small challenge for Peter, my colleagues on the Board, and the more than six thousand staff of Healthcare of New Zealand around the country.

“It is clear from the report that there are extremely serious concerns about governance at the HBDHB. The attempts by former Board members and the former Chair to target Peter Hausmann can now be seen for what they were: scape-goating one man when others had far more serious issues that require scrutiny.

“The focus of people in Hawke’s Bay must now be on restoring good governance to their DHB.

“For us, the focus will continue to be on providing the highest quality community-based health and disability support to the 17,000 New Zealanders who are entrusted to our care.”


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