On February 27 2008 then-Minister David Cunliffe fired the elected HBDHB Health Board, and appointed Sir John Anderson to take over supervisory authority.Eventually the mayors of four local councils in the Bay, joined by the Chair of the Regional Council, brought suit against the Minister challenging his action.

The lawsuit brought by area councils on behalf of the sacked DHB Board members generated voluminous affidavits and supporting exhibits (letters, reports, press releases, emails, etc). We have posted the most illuminating of these documents here on the BayBuzz website.

This material includes affidavits and evidence of the key players, David Cunliffe, Kevin Atkinson and Chris Clarke. Affidavits supporting the elected Board’s position from Mayor Yule, John Newland and Dr David Lawson, as well as a Synopsis of Submissions on behalf of the Plaintiffs. And materials supporting Mr Cunliffe’s position from Peter Hausmann and Dr David Grayson, as well as a Respondent Submissions Summary.

Click on any of the following specific items to read or download the material:

Plaintiffs Submissions

1. Kevin Atkinson Affidavit #2

This lengthy document presents, in the words of Kevin Atkinson, the core arguments presented on behalf of the sacked DHB members.

2. Kevin Atkinson Affidavit #3

In this document, Atkinson rebuts case presented by former-Minister David Cunliffe in his response to Plaintiffs’ claims.

3. Kevin Atkinson Exhibits
Includes Cunliffe’s announcement of sacking, critique of Board prepared by Peter Hausmann, favorable comments on DHB Annual Plan 2007/8 by then-Minister Hodgson, media interview with Dr David Grayson of DHB critical of Board/staff relationship.

4. Statement of Intent Report 2007/8, 2nd QTR
This is a regular report in which the DHB reports on its progress in meeting the health goals it has set out for the year. In this case, the report was presented as evidence of the DHB’s good performance at the time of sacking.

5. John Newland Affidavit
Newland, who had been retained by CEO Clarke to advise on management issues, filed an affidavit critical of the CEO’s management of the DHB.

6. Lawrence Yule Affidavit
Among other issues, Mayor Yule describes an adversarial telephone exchange between himself and Mayor Arnott, on the one hand, and Minister Cunliffe on the other.

7. Dr David Lawson Affidavit
Reports on his own canvassing of senior clinicians at DHB, refuting claim that clinicians and DHB Board were in a dysfunctional relationship.

8. Synopsis of Submissions
A document prepared by Plaintiffs’ attorney that comprehensively summarises the arguments and evidence presented on behalf of the elected Board members.

Respondents Submissions

1. David Cunliffe Affidavit
This presents, in Mr Cunliffe’s words, the case justifying his sacking of the HBDHB elected Board members.

2. Chris Clarke Affidavit
This presents Mr. Clarke’s critique of the elected Board and its mode of operation, and includes a letter he filed with his attorney on these matters prior to the sacking of the Board.

3. Chris Clarke Exhibits
Various emails, meeting notes, letters submitted by Mr Clarke in support of his claims of Board/staff dysfunctionality.

4. Dr David Grayson Affidavit
Argues that Board/staff relationship was dysfunctional.

5. Respondents Submissions Summary
This document presents the case and evidence on behalf of then-Minister David Cunliffe’s sacking of the elected DHB.

Everything you need to adjudicate the case yourself!

Of course, the lawsuit was suspended when current Health Minister Tony Ryall “persuaded” Commissioner Sir John Anderson to invite the elected-but-deposed Board members to rejoin the reconstituted DHB Governance Board.

The Terms of Reference codifying the new governance arrangement are also posted (Click here). This document is “must read” if you really want to understand the current roles and authorities. These groundrules apply until the next local elections (2010), or (if sooner) until Sir John Anderson resigns his post.

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1 Comment

  1. Now the HBDH has been reinstated – what were the costs of preparing for the court case by both parties.?

    The ratepayers of Napier and Hastings Council paid for the Board and also the taxpayers of NZ presumably from Health funding for the Crown ?

    Surely the public have a right to know the figures?

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