Dave Macpherson: Serious Fraud Office sends terrible message over former Waikato DHB CEO’s $200k ripoff


As long has you haven’t taken too much, we won’t come after you” is the message former Waikato DHB elected Board Member says the ‘Serious’ Fraud Office has given to the community, in the wake of its decision not to prosecute the DHB’s former CEO, Nigel Murray.

Murray, while CEO of Waikato DHB, ran up unauthorised expenses of over $200,000 in two years, then resigned from his job in 2017 to avoid employment action being taken against him.

“The Board at the time, minus myself and Mary Anne Gill – who had been excluded from the meeting, wrongly accepted his resignation.”

“Since then the State Services Commission and the Serious Fraud Office have both found that Murray acted wrongly, and had had no right to those expenses, but still no action is taken against him,” said Mr Macpherson.

Murray’s unauthorised expenses included the payment of airfares from Canada for a woman other than his official partner, and the hire of a car in Canada for several weeks that he was not even in the country for. The SFO claims that it would be too expensive and too much trouble to follow up these Canadian leads, and seems not too worried about the many more New Zealand leads.

“As a social media commentator has just said: ‘beneficiaries have gone to prison for less’.”

“The message being sent to the New Zealand public is that you’ll get away with ripping off your employers if you are a senior figure and the amount is not too much,” added Mr Macpherson.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com


Dave Macpherson – TDB mental health blogger & Former Waikato DHB Elected Member


  1. The Justice system is in my view the big daddy of colonial racism in our country and this needs to be sorted the justice system is rife with racism and discrimination. I can tell you a few stories no doubt our Maori people continue to feel the full brunt of the law but the rich and powerful they pay there way out of jail this makes a mockery of our justice system to say we are all equal and have the same legal rights is utter bullshert one has to have access to decent legal representation and that costs money. We have a two tiered legal system, one for the rich and one for the poor.

    • @MICHELLE. You are correct.
      I remember back in the day, when my father tried to get his foot in the door of the serious fraud office to ask them to help with shedding some light on a clearly evident level of corruption within the bnz timaru’s office, he discovered, to his dread, a closed off, tight lipped organisation that, like an evil, magnetic clown took everything in yet nothing came back out while dancing about in an obfuscatory manner, chuckling and making toot-toot noises with a wee tin horn. Nothing. Not one single sentence came back from those Protectors of the Great Swindle.
      The SFO is, to me, like many little wind-up winston peters clones running about in dire urgency to cover up the excrement of our corrupt system under a blanket of deeper bullshit.
      To lend weight to my suspicions? How about some cold, hard facts?
      AO/NZ = big, proper-asset-rich and beautiful country. 25 K sq km BIGGER than the UK. Canterbury alone is the same land area as Holland. Canterbury population: 600,000.Holland 17 million.
      AO/NZ = Tiny population of a scant few 4.7 million. About the size of Sydney.
      AO/NZ= Agrarian export primary industry ( Now a tattered thing having been sabotaged by the riche of recent times by industrialising milk sucking, then drying it out and flogging off to the Chinese markets because our colonial riche fucked over our pre ( And Post) WW2 traditional trading partners like the EU, the UK and the USA.)
      The dairy ‘industry’ isn’t farming BTW. You all know that, right?
      AO/NZ= Now? We see the unnecessary abhorrence of homelessness, poverty and the consequential societal dysfunctions at ever escalating rates here and our SFO behaves as if it were a dumb, deaf, blind lamb suffering dizzy spells and seems to constantly need to have wee lies down with cups of teas with a ginger nut. Poor little lambs. There’s been so much dodgy shit gone on, and is going on, within AO/NZ it’d need the entire city of Wellington to become SFO investigators to work tirelessly for years to undo the entangled swindles that beleaguer us like a disease.
      ( A word to those reading who’s sphincters will be twitching as your nasty little meat eater teeth must be chattering? “The truth will out”. William Shakespeare)
      Keep up your good work @ DM.

    • Sorry Michelle, I think you’ve got it wrong here. The way I see it, is that if you are a rich white professional man – and I use the word ‘man’ deliberately – then you’ve got a much better chance of getting away with criminal behaviour than anybody else.

      The criminal justice system is still largely dominated and controlled by white males, and the last thing they want to see is people like themselves in trouble.

      I very much doubt that it’s an anti-Maori issue – that implies a certain depth of thought which I suggest is non-existent; their focus is on themselves, and people like themselves. That is what it looks like.

      But they have blown it here. They should have followed it through simply because it is the right thing to do, regardless of cost.

      Many of us have acted when we could not afford to, in terms of cost or time or emotion, but because we believed that something was right.

      The SFO, and the police, doubtless make regular calls about the feasibility of following through on prosecutions, and I think we do have to accept that. But given that this is such a high profile case, and in the context of a controversial DHB, then the SFO should have given much more careful thought to the sort of message that it is choosing to send out here.

      If their own processes are not cost-effective, then perhaps that is an issue which needs to be re-addressed too.

      • Hey Applewood ! I’m a ‘man’ ! At least anatomically. Othewise, that could be a matter for debate perhaps but fuck it! I’m a man. Lets go with that. Yep. That’s the gender I am, man.
        And I love women. I love women because women are women, and I love women. Women are fucking Mmmmmmm…. because I’m a man. On another level I love women because women are women and women are like me! I know! Crazy, right? I’m a man and I love women and I love women becuase I’m a man BUT I also love women because women are in parallel… awesome, right !? A two-for! With men, and men are men which must be a relief for Man-loving women because I know! Women love fellows. I know Gay women who love men and I know I love women who are Gay because they’re simply fucking awesome but don’t like diddles. Neither do I ! I don’t care about people, usually men, who have diddles which they might argue difines them? But that’s not going to define men, as diddle brandishers nor what ever, right? Someone said ” Men? They’re just inside out women.” Take. A . Close. loooooook ! See! Tralall ala ala ala la Tra! Lalalld dlal dlal dla alalalal alad laldla la a ! Oi!

    • How is this about race you dingbat?
      The rich vs poor argument can be comfortably made, but that is it.
      By breathlessly screaming racism at everything you train the populace to ignore genuine claims.
      You should be ashamed of yourself but you won’t be.

      • I don’t think there’s a global conspiracy as if we are all rape victims of the patriarchy ect but I do believe there’s a bit of racism. Y’know, people of colour display far more physical attributes and the counter to that is well my intelligence is better than yours.

  2. Mark Richardson was on the AM Show yesterday espousing the virtues of trickle-down-economics, a theory which has widely been debunked.

    Any trickle down effect is fast eaten up due to the Cantillon Effect, history, etc. Left, Right or Centrist .. nobody takes the trickle-down theory seriously ..

    Expect Mark Richardson and National’s new finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith. Amy Adams was a bit financially ignorant, but Paul Goldsmith made an absolute fool of himself.

    • Mark Richardson is not a journalist how did he get that job i think he has a commerce degree, not sure but he seems to think he knows everything about everything. Trickle down is more like trickle up the only thing that is trickling down at the moment is the shit trickling into Lake Taupo

      • He used to be a cricket player Michelle, but I think that a few balls might have hit him on the head.

        I’ve not seen him on television (cos I don’t watch it) but I think he’s there in the mornings when everyone’s half-asleep so that he can stay half-asleep too. Saves waking up.

        He over-stepped the mark with PM Ardern once (shocking) and that could be why he’s there mainly now for decorative purposes sponsored perhaps by Spec Savers.

    • Mark Richardson espouses lots of things, many of which are both fatuous and ignorant. He’s been given a soapbox to stand on, and he uses it to project his many and varied prejudices across the national airwaves. Think of him as the televisual equivalent of a drunk tramp ranting incoherently at frightened pedestrians.

      Like Hosking and Garner, he’s not very bright and can be safely ignored.

  3. You have to understand that prosecuting a senior figure in an organisation may make it difficult to ‘attract the right people for the role in the future’. The same vacuous argument used for paying out millions to someone when they have been asked to leave for running a company into the ground.
    Large organisations seem to be run successfully in spite of the actions of senior managers rather than as a result of their management prowess. Here unfortunately, there are more serious consequences than just money. Expect the commissioner to screw down costs to save money. This will mean economies and service cut backs to reduce a deficit that is most likely caused by under funding in the first place and of course an IT gravy train funded by the senior manager in question.

  4. “The message being sent to the New Zealand public is that you’ll get away with ripping off your employers if you are a senior figure and the amount is not too much.”

    This story infuriates me. I well remember John Campbell’s polite – but persistent – pursuit of it. I expected better of the SFO; it is to be hoped that nobody hires him for any job where control of public money is involved.

    I wonder if the level of public opprobrium might force SFO to reconsider. Or is it too late for that?

  5. Can’t ‘follow up leads in Canada’? Wtf. What happened to picking up the telephone or emailing the authorities over there, sharing police resources? I can email them if they like, I’m unemployed with an information degree and my rate is a week voluntary internship with a constant supply of coffee and donuts. The SFO makes it sound like we need to employ Mulder and Scully at $5k a day to solve this one. Chuck this wanker and his SFO apologists in jail.

  6. Everything must be judged under neo lib rules as to whether it is cost-efficient, because efficiency is everything and money is limited and must not be wasted. All that is a great big lie. Money can be created at will, but is governed by sensible economic rules; we have seen this in QE (quantitative easing – which just means that there is a release of more available financial paper into the system when there are difficulties at the top).

    And so money trumps justice and good regulation and law. The SFO doesn’t want to spend all its budget building a case, gaining documents to bolster it, going to Court and losing. So they have cut to the chase and said they won’t try. It’s not cost efficient, and they will show they have been outsmarted or even worse that they lost their smarts some time ago.

    I think Ruth Richardson was quoted as refusing to consider legislation tightening financial law, because people would only find a way around it. So we lie back and think of …what or where… while an elite circle round the ghost train track. We might be frightened as we pay our dues and travel along, but not the CEOs and the IT systems organisers who can run up horrendous costs and retire a little bruised after some ignoble failure, to their seaside mansion.

    Sue Moroney on Radionz this morning was very impressive and I thank her for trying to stop this Waikato DHB appointment, and then to note that the DHB said they would keep a close eye on him, and after that to follow it up with the SFO, and then carry on and advise us when other lesser MPs would have STFU.

    Sue Moroney was a Labour MP when she complained to the SFO over Nigel Murray’s spending She says dropping the case basically says ‘if you want to misuse public funds, do it overseas, you will get away with it’.

    Sue Moroney is sensitive to the difference in treatment of malefactors by the justice system because of her role since June 2018.
    Former Labour MP Sue Moroney is the new Chief Executive Officer of the national organisation for Community Law Centres…
    “Community Law provides access to justice for those in need and is closely connected to the communities it serves all over New Zealand.”


  7. Shocking, he should pay double the money back they stole and get prosecuted…

    You wonder how many people died or were more severely injured by the lack of funds at the DHB while he was blowing $200k on expenses and his mistress or whoever was in Canada was using DHB money for their lifestyle…

    • If the SFO is funded by us then our elected parliamentarians should be asking the same questions that you all are. If the SFO need to watch their pennies those that authorise their budget need to answer. If they’re happy to let this nasty annoying little incident fade away they should be replaced. So who are their bosses and what do they have to say.

  8. Well, I can see both sides. If the SFO considers the expense of pursuing, without a good chance of getting a conviction, that might be a reality. But another reality is that he has been tried in the court of public opinion, found rankly guilty, and the world is very well aware. No name suppression here! Hard to judge what degree of humiliation/mortification he suffers, though; he may have a Trumpian resistance to such reactions.

  9. Next time someone in The Establishment tries telling us there is one justice for all, I will take pleasure,

    1. Reminding them of this instance

    2 Tell them to fuck off with their foolish delusions

    3 Then fuck off some more

  10. Did Metiria Turei’s malfeasance run into the $200,000 range? The mob who had their metaphorical gallows out for her have them ready and polished for Nigel Murray?

    Or wallowing in their self-righteousness don’t care?

    • Damn straight there Pete. Bring back Turei. Her only admission was one of survival whilst this man stole to support his lavish lifestyle with a bit on the side.
      The Greens could do with a bit of her mana as well.

  11. Alan says:
    Large organisations seem to be run successfully in spite of the actions of senior managers rather than as a result of their management prowess.
    Isn’t that an example of the principles spelled out in the Peter Principle:
    ‘the principle that members of a hierarchy are promoted until they reach the level at which they are no longer competent.’

    This sounds a bit amusing and perhaps cynical, but I think is written from experience and observation. The real work gets done by the middle management who are often under a lot of pressure and suffer stress trying to meet targets set airily by the ‘gods’ above. (Would apply to government servants too!)

    • It’s amazing who gets made a senior manager these days. Some of the e-mails I receive are semi-literate. Or so awash in corporate jargon they’re all words and no meaning. If you can’t manage basic stuff like spelling and grammar or explaining simple concepts in plain English; areas in which your communication skills (or lack thereof) are displayed for all to see, it doesn’t bode well for the poor souls toiling under your lash. The question most often asked is, “What else are you shit at?” If managers stopped treating meetings, seminars and internal e-mails as embarrassing dick-waving contests during which they feel compelled to use phrases like ‘game-changer’, ‘drill-down’, ‘touch base’ and ‘going forward’, they’d probably be regarded with considerably less open hostility by those at the coal face. You don’t sound sophisticated and clever. You sound like a pack of wankers dribbling gibberish. Just cut it out for fuck’s sake.

  12. Is anyone really surprised ?

    NZ does not do personal responsibility or holding anyone too account for their actions.

    The whole country is run that way unless you are poor ( white and maori ) and have no clout.

    Whether you steal public money or speed through a 30 km road passed a playground and run over an innocent child ” it is not my fault ” or i will do what i like is the common attitude.

    No one ever falls on their sword unless they are pushed really hard.

    We pick and choose who faces justice and for what crime because if we can ” get you off ” we will.

    It is no wonder that this country is the laughing stock of the western world and a paradise for those who can literally get away with breaking the law but won’t be held accountable for their actions.

  13. I wonder if the SFO is taking its time to investigate the National party’s donation scandal so they can find a way to not have to prosecute them.

    Just a thought.

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