Investigation into former Waikato District Health Board CE

Health Minister David Clark has directed the State Services Commissioner to launch an investigation into the circumstances surrounding allegations of wrongful expenditure by the former Chief Executive of the Waikato District Health Board.

On 5 October, the District Health Board announced the resignation of Dr Nigel Murray with immediate effect. This followed the resignation part-way through an independent inquiry into alleged financial breaches during his tenure, which was not completed.

“I have written to Commissioner Peter Hughes today to request this action because such issues or allegations, especially relating to senior leaders in the public sector, risk damaging confidence in the public sector,” Dr Clark says.

“It is critical that transparency in and accountability for these processes and outcomes is maintained.”

Dr Clark has directed the SSC to exercise its functions and powers under section 11 (4) of the State Sector Act 1988 to investigate:

a) The circumstances of any alleged unauthorised or unjustified expenditure by Dr Murray of DHB funds; 

b) Any related or similar conduct by Dr Murray or any related person identified during the course of its inquiry; 

c) Any processes undertaken or decisions made by the DHB relating to any matters identified under a) and b). 

"I expect that this investigation may involve considering whether appropriate standards of integrity and conduct have been maintained by Dr Murray and the DHB.”

The Minister will be briefed on the findings and any recommendations of the investigation.