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Inquiry Unnecessary - Health Board Chair Should Go

25 July 2002

Inquiry Unnecessary - Health Board Chair Should Go

An inquiry into meeting fee claims by Bay of Plenty District Health Board chairperson Mary Hackett is unnecessary when it is clear the chair claimed fees she was not entitled too and then lied about whether she paid them back, National Health Spokesperson Roger Sowry said today.

“Annette King wanted openness, transparency and high standards before the last election. Mary Hackett was paid for meetings she did not attend, but before she paid the money back on Monday she twice claimed to have paid it back.

“Mrs King only asked for a Ministry of Health investigation into this matter once it was clear Mrs Hackett had not been up-front with the media about the matter

“The Minister is just time-wasting in an attempt to defuse the situation. The board chair has offered her resignation because she knows she has done wrong. The Minister should be decisive and accept that resignation.

“I can only guess that Annette King is protecting a friend of the Labour Party by not accepting this chairperson’s resignation.

“The people of the Bay of Plenty deserve better leadership in their community. They should be able to trust someone who chairs an organisation that spends over $200 million of their hard-earned taxes. Mrs King must act now to remove Mrs Hackett from her position as chair of the board,” Mr Sowry said.


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