Brief statement from Waikato DHB Board member Dave Macpherson


Commissioner not needed for Waikato DHB, but new leadership is.

I have been informed this afternoon of the intention by the Minister of Health to sack the Waikato DHB Board in 2 weeks if if does not give sufficient reason for him not to do this.

The Minister has cited as reasons for this the likely financial deficit our Board is facing and the Ministerial appointed Board Chair is citing dissension within the Board.

I make some points:

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1/. Every DHB in the country is facing significant financial pressure in trying to meet the expectations of the Minister and their community for provision of health services; Waikato is no different, and is being honest to the Minister about this difficulty – unlike the last Board who hid their deficit from the last Government;

2/. The ‘dissension’ Board Chair Sally Webb talks about has arisen directly from the public fuss caused by DHB leadership (not the Board) over her decision to try and overturn the Coroners findings from the Inquest into the death of my son Nicky Stevens. That public fuss caused CEO job applicants to withdraw their applications  leading to the Board stopping the process halfway through;

3/. The appointment of the former CEO Nigel Murray, and the wasting of money on Health Tap were decisions made solely by the previous Board – I and some other members were not on the Board at that time;

4/. Three Ministerial appointees – Chair, Deputy Chair and the ‘Crown Monitor’ have all gone to the Minister and the Ministry of Health claiming our Board is dysfunctional – the Board itself has not said this, and many of us do not think this. There have been some issues, as there have been with many Boards, but several of those issues lead back to the people the Minister has appointed, in my opinion. The Minister should come and meet with the WHOLE BOARD, not take his appointees’ views as gospel.

5/. Appointing a Commissioner will not do anything to:
– change the fact that the DHB leadership are trying to overturn the Coroners’ findings into my son’s death
– reduce the deficit, especially if the Minister wants health inequalities for Maori to be reduced
– change the fact that staff in many jobs in DHB’s are rebelling against the effects of poor health funding by previous Governments.


Dave Macpherson became an Elected Waikato DHB Board member after the DHB killed his son, he is TDBs mental health blogger.


  1. all mostly the national parties mess left behind for some poor bugger to clean up and now the coalition government needs to fix it asap as in the meantime who is suffering ?

  2. This will not be the last hospital that is financially shaking- If David Clarke had any sense in his head he would personally and immediately look closely and critically at ALL heads of all hospitals under John Key’s nine years. And I would be very cynical of any Min of Health appointee: I believe there maybe many, many vested neolib wolfs in sheep’s clothing.

  3. Do you not get it, Dave? You are a thorn in their side, the WDHB and the Ministry, they want to get RID of you!

    This is ‘the system’ in operation.

    You have to connect the dots, mate, and get it, what really goes on. They consider you as being a disturbing factor in the system.

    Better realise this and fight full confrontational now, expose all and attack the liars at the top.

  4. Appointing a commissioner to run Southern District Health Board has not reduced the deficit at all. To fix this we need better funding in the smaller regions and then get rid of the previoys government appointees; those who were put there by Key and English.
    You tell me was it fair to keep an elderly man with Parkinsons waiting a whole year for a hip replacement, when it would have taken much longer than that, if I had not advocated strongly with Southland Hospital for immediate attention? Because of the year delay, his physical health deteriorated to the point where he now lives in care, at a cost to the health dystem of $700 per week. Second time in the last 30 years a leftwing government has been left to clean up the mess. First Bolger and English, then Key and English. Too much power in central government hands and not enough locally.

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