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February 20, 2008 | by  | in Online Only | [ssba]

All Hail Captain Cunliffe

It seems that our health minister, David Cunliffe, has been causing a terrible fracas with the Hawkes Bay District Health Board. It’s a bit too early to tell if the Hawkes Bay DHB is really in disgraceful dire straights, but its not to early to see Cunliffe’s intense crackdown on the board.

But boy oh boy, things are getting nasty over there. Board members having been firing shots across Cunliffe’s bow and has drawn criticism from the political front. ACT’s Heather Roy has scrambled to the aid of the DHB;

“Today we learn that HBDHB… may be lumbered with a commissioner for reasons known only to Mr Cunliffe,”

Cunliffe hasn’t been twiddling his thumbs as the Board amassed its forces. Cunliffe has begun to tighten the screws. He has taken the extraordinary step of threatening to impose a commissioner to the board to help deal with the problems it’s been recently having. He’s given them a 6 day ultimatum. This is pretty extreme – it’s been awhile since a Minister have thrown his weight around so publicly. Heather Roy comments

“The fact is that the minister has not even given HBDHB a fighting chance – he has used the long-overdue review hanging over HBDHB as a weapon to discredit the current board and its chair.”

There may be some merit in Heather’s comments, but in reality its Cunliffe with all the ammunition at this point. The Hawkes Bay DHB has been under performing recently, and its hard to argue with a damning auditor general report, even if it is late. That being said, its still very interesting to see Cunliffe open fire on the Hawkes Bay District Health Board. Captain Cunliffe’s in charge, that’s for damn sure.

Captain Cunliffe Strikes Again


About the Author ()

Conrad is a very grumpy boy. When he was little he had a curl in the middle of his forehead. When he was good, he was moderately good, but when he was mean he was HORRID. He likes guns, bombs and shooting doves. He can often be found reading books about Mussolini and tank warfare. His greatest dream is to invent an eighteen foot high mechanical spider, which has an antimatter lazer attached to its back.

Comments (7)

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  1. peteremcc says:

    Actually, Heather has been pushing this story (along with the Wellington Hospital one) for about 6 months. The minister has ignored the situation up until now and now he has jumped in and gone full tilt against the board.

    That’s what Heather means by the ‘hasn’t given the board a fighting chance’ comment. Instead of trying to fix the problem ages ago, he’s left it until it has made him look bad, and then tried to blame it on the board.

  2. Surely the failures of the Board are the Boards problem though… so its irrelevant if he left it till whenever…

  3. peteremcc says:

    It’s called Ministerial Responsibility, something that has been sorely lacking in this government.

  4. Isn’t dealing harshly with the Board (which is what he is doing now) exactly the ministerial responsibility you are asking for?

    You can’t have your cake and eat it Peter.

  5. Nic says:

    Conrad – B for trying hard, C for content.

    I know you like your job, but really, you don’t have to post every little thing, do you? I don’t mean to offend you at all, in fact your enthusiasm is nice to see (makes a good change).

    I just think you’re more likely to gain and retain an audience by only posting significant things. (I understand that this is big news, but to the average Uni student, not that much – it seems like some kind of subtle agenda-pushing on first read – which becomes more blatant when I read your comments).

    Sorry about grammar, etc. It’s 4.39am. Laugh at that if you care.


  6. Sigh… No i am not affiliated with Young Labour…

    oh dear Nic, there really is no vast left wing conspiracy. Get your head out of the sand… In other news, the Salient blog IS A BLOG. Therefore crap of large little or no significance gets put on it. Thats the nature of blogging. If you want more quantitative analysis, read the print copy.

  7. Nic says:

    Sweet, I will. I’m not on campus for O-Week (thank God) but will be sure to pick it up when I return.

    Just a quick note though… it’s wrong of you to assume someone’s political stance based on a few comments. On an article, maybe, but comments? No.


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