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District Health Board Payment

6 July 2001 Media Statement


The Government and Waitemata District Health Board have reached an agreement over a payment made by Waitemata Health to its Chief Executive in its transition to a District Health Board.

State Services Minister Trevor Mallard said Waitemata District Health Board had negotiated the return of the one-off payment by its Chief Executive.

"Last week, I referred this matter to the Auditor General after the State Services Commission advised me that they had concerns over the validity of the payment.

"The Auditor General has decided that because Waitemata's Chair had received legal advice which reached a different conclusion from SSC on the question of whether the payment constituted a 'term and condition of employment', he was not the appropriate party to consider the issue at this stage.

"I have also met with the Chair of Waitemata and accept her assurance that she acted with advice and in good faith. Her motivation was to retain the services of a chief executive whom the Board holds in high regard through a period of change. At our meeting the Chair stressed her desire to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of all parties. I agreed.

"I have therefore accepted Waitemata District Health Board's offer for the Chief Executive to repay the $25,000 in question. In return I agreed to ask the State Services Commissioner to consent to an amendment to the Chief Executive’s transitional employment agreement to allow a longer notice period of six months, instead of three months, in the event the Chief Executive is not appointed to the substantive position. However, the employment agreement for the substantive appointee will contain the standard three months notice period.

"The repayment of the money is no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the Board or the Chief Executive.

"I believe this is a satisfactory resolution that will allow the Board and its Chief Executive to focus on the health needs of its community."

Trevor Mallard said the SSC was still working through legal issues surrounding a further one-off payment made to the chief executive of another DHB.

Ends

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