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Re-Instatement of Former Elected Board Members

MEDIA RELEASE - for immediate release

12 December 2008

Hawke's Bay District Health Board (HBDHB)

Re- Instatement of Former Elected Board Members

This statement is made by Kevin Atkinson on behalf of the seven elected members dismissed from the HBDHB Board on 27th February 2008.

We welcome the news of our re-instatement and effective exoneration.

The re-instatement decision fully justifies the unprecedented action taken by the five Hawke's Bay Councils on behalf of the community to challenge former Minister Cunliffe's decision to dismiss the Board ten months ago.

The former Board was always confident that an unbiased review of the facts under the judicial review sought by the five councils would reverse the injustice imposed on our community.

The decision to dismiss the Board was an act of political obstruction to prevent the further investigation of issues over which the Board had very serious and justifiable concerns.

Minister Cunliffe's unbalanced attack on the reputation of the former Board members and the statements made by him under the protection of parliamentary privilege were reprehensible, as were those statements made by a number of people giving him advice at the time of the Boards dismissal. At no time did Minister Cunliffe ever meet with the former Board to test the robustness and accuracy of the statements he made.

We now look forward to working with Sir John Anderson as Chair of the new Governance Board and getting on with the job we were elected by the Hawke's Bay community to perform.


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