Services Move To Wellesley Road Illegally Planned
From: Napier Public Health Action Group
Date: 2 October 2003
MINISTER CONFIRMS HEALTH SERVICES MOVE TO WELLESLEY ROAD WAS ILLEGALLY PLANNED
In a media statement of 30 September, Annette King states that the decision that no health services would be provided from Napier's Hospital Hill "was originally made in 1996, and there is no going back". She repeats that people have known this since 1996.
1996 was the year in which Napier people were reassured by Graham Scott as chairman of the Central Regional Health Authority that Napier's public health services would continue to be provided from Napier Hospital if that was the wish of the community. [Daily Telegraph, 16 September 1996]
In late 1996, Healthcare Hawke's Bay Chief Executive Mark Flowers made a remark that hospital services would be centralised in Hastings, but he then publicly and immediately corrected himself, saying that he meant only acute services and that his comment "did not signal a change in Healthcare Hawke's Bay's intention to provide services from Napier Hospital". [Daily Telegraph, 2 September 1996]
There was no public consultation with the people of Napier before October 1997. When it took place, it was a farce.
Maybe a gnome in the Department of Health in Wellington, or in CCMau, made a decision in 1996. We wouldn't know. What we do know is that we were not party to it, and that we have never had a genuine public consultation on where the city's public health services should be sited. Individuals within our group have been calling for that for years. Ms King's comments confirm their accusations are valid. Decisions were made in secret behind closed doors and foisted on us without legal genuine consultation.
The Minister's statement ends with the quite extraordinary remark "Honesty is the best policy". Is this satire against her own Department?