Waikato DHB has suddenly put a stop to hiring a new chief executive due to “challenges” facing the board.

However, the DHB refuses to elaborate or confirm exactly what those “challenges” are.

A statement released this morning by board chair Sally Webb said they were now “working to resolve” those challenges.

“This is an important role and it’s crucial that we get it right and find a chief executive who can take this organisation forward over the next five years. Now is not the right time to proceed with the appointment process.

“The prospective candidates have been informed.”

The board meets tomorrow, when it will discuss its options.

Interim chief executive Derek Wright will continue in the role in the meantime.

However, Jane Stevens – mother of Nicky Stevens who died while in the care of Waikato DHB’s Henry Bennett Centre – said the sudden announcement was “further evidence that the bad publicity arising from their attempt to reopen the Nicky Stevens coronial process is causing a chaotic leadership situation in the organisation”.

The DHB last week announced it was calling for a new coronial inquiry into Stevens’ care after Coroner Wallace Bain found his death could have been avoided if his parents had been listened to and that the young man’s care fell “well short of what he and his parents would have expected”.

The DHB board was in the middle of the final stages of their appointment process to replace disgraced former CEO Nigel Murray, including its final short listing of applicants, when it made this morning’s announcement.

“As well as causing significant upset for our whānau, their decision has now caused chaos in their own internal appointment process, right at the time they desperately needed to draw a line under their problems and to start moving forward.

“We hope that this delay has been caused by wiser heads in Government intervening temporarily to ensure some sensible outcomes are arrived at in our son’s case.”

“We desperately need good leadership for the DHB,” she said.

Source: NZ Herald


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