This is one story that won't go away any time soon. But from what I've read, both web-based and in the print media today, there is a very suspicious undertone.
It's public knowledge that Ray Lind, Annette King's husband was Deputy CEO of the Hawkes Bay DHB some time ago. It's public knowledge that he has a business relationship with Peter Hausmann, appointed to the HB DHB by Annette King. It's public knowledge that there is currently an investigation underway into the awarding of contestable contracts for services to Hausmann without a contestable process.
The Dom-Post is carrying this story: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominionpost/4418234a6479.html
Under the heading "CEO acted against board, says chairman" it begins:
"Hawke's Bay District Health Board chairman Kevin Atkinson believes chief executive Chris Clarke and board member Peter Hausmann worked together to have the board sacked.
Mr Hausmann, the subject of an ongoing investigation into an alleged conflict of interest, was given a letter from Mr Clarke to his lawyer to use in his submission to Health Minister David Cunliffe.
The scathing letter criticised the board's performance and described a "toxic culture" in the relations between board and management.
The letter appeared in correspondence from Mr Hausmann to Mr Cunliffe, which the minister considered before making his decision to sack the board yesterday ."
Later on in the article we read this:
"Mr Clarke's letter says he would be away when the board considers its response to the Health Ministry review panel looking into Mr Hausmann's alleged conflict of interest, and asks his lawyer to represent his views in his absence.
Mr Clarke said he believed a change of governance was imperative, due to "a toxic culture between board and management, a clash of values and an absence of trust"."
So who is Chris Clarke, and why would a DHB CEO and one of its government-appointed members try to undermine the board? This from The Hawkes Bay DHB's website: http://www.hawkesbaydhb.govt.nz/web_content2.asp?ID=100000277
"Chris Clarke, Chief Executive Officer
Chris Clarke’s background of top-level health appointments, backed by accountancy and law qualifications make him well suited in his position of chief executive officer of Hawke's Bay District Health Board. He has strong strategic and leadership qualities, and is a good communicator.
Prior to joining HBDHB Mr Clarke was director of health services development at Capital and Coast District Health Board. He holds degrees in law and commerce from Canterbury University.
His experience in the health sector is extensive, including general manager of public health and hospital services of the Southern Regional Health Authority, and general manager of strategy and communications for the same organisation. In 1994 he spent a year with the World Health Organisation working with developing nations in Eastern Europe. He also worked in the UK for the national health service in Wales, as part of a New Zealand health service exchange fellowship. Chris Clarke also worked as executive assistant to the then, deputy prime Minister, Helen Clark, from 1989 to 1990."
"Chris Clarke also worked as executive assistant to the then, deputy prime Minister, Helen Clark, from 1989 to 1990" - does anyone else smell a rat here?