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Waikato DHB Board sacking confirmed

NZ’s worst kept secret out: Waikato DHB Board sacking confirmed

The announcement today that the Minister of Health has sacked the members of the Waikato DHB was described by elected Board member Dave Macpherson as “New Zealand’s worst kept secret”.

“Blind Freddy could see that the Minister intended to sack the Board no matter what its members said.”

“It was a foregone conclusion that we were down the road as soon as we became aware that Board Chair Sally Webb and Crown Monitor Ken Whelan were telling the Ministry, behind our backs, that ours was a ‘dysfunctional’ Board.”

“Despite some bad earlier decisions, it wasn’t ‘dysfunctional’, but given the Minister never spoke to any members, other than those he’d appointed himself, there was no chance he’d recognise the large amount of work the Board has been doing to turn around the failing ship it had inherited,” said Mr Macpherson.

“The fact that the Board had requested support from Government, by the Ministry of Health seconding a replacement CEO to provide more leadership in the interim, hasn’t even been acknowledged.”

Mr Macpherson also pointed out that as an elected member, he was ‘appointed’ by voters in the community, and that the Minister’s process in sacking Board members “would never stack up in an Employment Tribunal.”

“There has not been due process, and nor has there been any democratic process,” he said.

“However, successive Governments have given themselves the power to take this sort of action, without fair accountability, in my opinion.”

“The ironic thing for my own family is that the first thing we will do, now that a Commissioner has been appointed, is to ask that Government appointee to revisit the appalling decision made by the previous DHB leadership to try and overturn the Coroner’s decision, in the case of our son’s death.”

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