Consider these facts about HBDHB

Scoop: – 14 March 2008

Murray MCCully has laid out the bare facts of the case;

– Faced with allegations that previous Health Minister Annette King appointed an individual to the Hawkes Bay DHB who was also attempting to negotiate a multi-million dollar contract with that DHB, the Government refused to have an independent enquiry, insisting instead that the Director General of Health would appoint an enquiry team.

– The Director General of Health advises the Minister, reports to the Minister and depends upon a good assessment from the Minister to keep their job and get paid their bonus.

– The enquiry team produced a draft report last November. Suspiciously, the next draft was produced early this year containing ?substantial changes?. How do we know this? Because that is the phrase used to describe the changes by High Court Justice Mallon in granting an injunction to the Director General of Health, and the contractor/board member Peter Hausmann and his company, Healthcare of New Zealand.

– Even more suspiciously, the Hawkes Bay DHB members were given only three days to comment on these substantial changes. So they issued proceedings to ask the High Court to give them a reasonable chance to respond.

– They were promptly sacked by the Minister David Cunliffe.

– A Commissioner (Sir John Anderson) was appointed, who very conveniently withdrew the legal challenge, thus denying the Court the chance to rule on the unreasonable approach of the review team.

– The Minister will release the substantially changed report on Monday.
A copy of draft one of the enquiry team (before the ?substantial changes?) apparently came into the hands of the Dominion Post. They were promptly injuncted by Director General of Health, Hausmann and Healthcare NZ (is there a small clue about who benefited from the ?substantial changes? to be found in the make-up of that unlikely tag team?).

Pressed for assurances that version one of the report (subject to the injunction) would be released with the final report on Monday, Cunliffe declined. So National Party Health spokesman Tony Ryall quoted from version one of the report in Parliament this week. And it is now a reasonable assumption that the rest of version one will see the light of day at the appropriate time.

The government will be buying a great big bucket of whitewash this weekend, unfortunately for them some of us have copies of the draft report.