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Green Party asks Tony Ryall to come clean

19 March 2014

Green Party asks Tony Ryall to come clean

New evidence proves Health Officials were told in 2010 that a dispute involving the Southland District Health Board involved allegations of fraud, revealing that Health Minister Tony Ryall gave incorrect statements to Parliament, Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said today.

An email from former Southern DHB CEO Brian Rousseau to the Director General of Health in June 2010 shows that the DHB was asking for help from officials in relation to a multimillion dollar dispute with South Link Health and that the dispute involved allegations of fraud.

“Tony Ryall has repeatedly denied that his officials knew anything about any allegations involving fraud before the end of 2013. This new information shows that he is completely wrong and that officials knew full well the extent of the concerns about the missing funds years before he says they did,” Mr Hague said.

When asked on March 5 when officials were first informed of allegations of fraud Mr Ryall replied: “They became aware of concerns about fraud in late 2013.”

“Tony Ryall must urgently correct the record and come clean about his full involvement in this dispute,” Mr Hague said.

“It beggars belief that the Minister would not have known that such serious allegations had been raised about the misuse of money in his portfolio, and if he didn’t know about these concerns, why on earth not?”

“Regardless of whether he was informed about allegations of fraud, Tony Ryall’s involvement in the dispute still raises extremely serious questions.

“Tony Ryall has admitted advising the DHB not to go to court to retrieve the funds and his story about what he knew has changed several times in answer to my questions in the House.

“Tony Ryall is deeply involved in this dispute and needs to come clean about he knew, when he knew it, why he intervened to stop the DHB from going to court to retrieve millions in public money, and why he told Parliament that his officials were not aware of allegations of fraud when they clearly were.

“Mr Rousseau has asked me to make his emails public in an effort to ensure that the full story is made public and a proper investigation is held.”

Copies of the emails released today: https://www.greens.org.nz/misc-documents/emails-regarding-southern-district-health-board-dispute

ENDS

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