Working for better health care in New Zealand

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) is the professional association and union uniting doctors and dentists in New Zealand.

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Senior doctors call on State Services Commission to take over Waikato investigation

24 August 2017 Media Release - ASMS

“The State Services Commission needs to take over the investigation into the expenses of Waikato District Health Board Chief Executive Nigel Murray,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

He was commenting on reports that the SSC has asked the DHB when it will disclose Dr Murray’s latest expenses (

“We think the investigation by the DHB Board’s Chair Bob Simcock risks an apparent or real conflict of interest given his ringing endorsement when he appointed Dr Murray given the strong concerns expressed at the time,” says Mr Powell.

“If Dr Murray is found to be at fault over his expenses but still returns to work then many will suspect a cover-up.  On the other hand, if he doesn’t return to work, then the Chair will have no credibility if he doesn’t also resign.”

He says the prolonged crisis over the Chief Executive’s expenses is bringing disrepute to the DHB and is very unsettling for staff.

“It is virtually unprecedented for a DHB Chief Executive to be on indefinite ‘gardening leave’, and the situation needs to be sorted out swiftly to avoid further dysfunction at the DHB. The SSC needs to step in and sort out this debacle before more harm is done.”