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Most board chairs will remain to lead DHBs

9 October 2000 Media Statement

Most board chairs will remain to lead DHBs

Health Minister Annette King says most chairpersons of the 21 Hospital and Health Service (HHS) boards have said they are available to stay on to lead the new District Health Boards (DHBs).

DHBs will come into effect when the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Bill is passed later this year. A number of new directors were appointed in August this year to strengthen the existing boards and widen their community base.

Mrs King says she is pleased most chairs have indicated they are available. "I think it is important we have as much continuity as possible heading into the first board elections in October 2001.

"There will, however, be changes in the leadership of four boards, Canterbury Health, Taranaki Healthcare, Healthcare Hawkes Bay and Good Health Wanganui. Replacement chairs have already been identified in Canterbury and Taranaki, and will take up their new roles when the legislation is passed. In the other two other boards the replacement chairs have yet to be identified."

Mrs King said Syd Bradley, currently Health Funding Authority chairman and the former chair of the Canterbury Board, would replace acting chairperson Humphry Rolleston, who was retiring from the board.

"Barry Upson has signalled his unavailability due to work constraints and will leave the Taranaki board when the legislation comes into effect. He has served on the board since 1994 and will leave a significant gap, but we are fortunate one of the recently-appointed directors, Hayden Wano, has agreed to serve as the initial chair of the Taranaki DHB. Mr Wano has extensive health service experience and local networks and I am confident he will be able to help the board work even more closely with the local community."

Wanganui chair Gavin Doyle had decided to step down from the chair to devote more time to business commitments, Mrs King said. "He has agreed, however, to continue to serve as a member of the Wanganui DHB. I am sorry to be losing a chair of his calibre, but his personal and professional reasons for stepping aside are entirely understandable, and I appreciate notice of his intention."

Mrs King said Hawke's Bay chair Peter Wilson was moving home from Napier to Wellington, and although he would be retaining business interests in Napier he had indicated a wish to stand down from the board. "He is doing so because he recognises we want board members to belong to local communities. Peter has contributed very significantly to the direction and achievements in health service provision in Hawke's Bay since 1993, and his experience and leadership will be missed. I respect Peter's initiative and he clearly appreciates the importance the Government places on local people running their own health services".

The Government expected to be able to appoint new chairs to Wanganui and Hawke's Bay from the existing boards, Mrs King said. "We are considering that now, and we are also considering deputy positions for all boards and reviewing the overall mix and composition of directors. I expect some fine-tuning will be necessary right up until DHBs are established at the end of the year."


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