A bit of Tory Charity

This isn’t my thing, but I have been asked to promote the gig raising funds for the Auckland City Mission.

The Mashup Mafia are proud to announce that Low Rollers will host it’s second annual Christmas charity appeal for the Auckland City Mission on Thursday 18th of December at Auckland’s leading night life venue The Carpark Bar. So after the remarkable contribution put forward by the Auckland drum & bass community last year, we’re back to do it again – except this time, on a much much much larger scale!!

My ISP Orcon are giving away some bar tabs too!

Conflicts of Interest

An interesting couple of emails arrived today. The first contained minutes of a Capital and Coast DHB board meeting of 4 April 2007. Along with that is the Declarations of Conflict from November 2007 and March 2008. There are some significant differences in those documents.

Minute item 7255 makes for some interesting reading in light of Ken Douglas’ vehement attacks on HBDHB, his “forcing” of the investigation panel to change the report and his insistence on not one but two meetings with the investigation panel.

A letter from Ken Douglas was tabled providing a more detailed account of his involvement in Healthcare of New Zealand Holdings Limited as a Non Executive Director. The letter was filed with the correspondence.

The Chair advised that following the Auckland DHB’s court decision she had indicated that the board would review its Conflicts of Interest policy. All Board, DSAC and CPHAC have a routine ‘Conflicts of Interest’ item on their agenda. The Conflict of Interest policy is in the C&C DHB Governance Handbook for Board and Committee members. All Board and Committee members are aware of their obligations to declare any possible conflicts of interest. From now on HAC will have this as standing agenda item also.

The Minister has ordered the Auditor General to carry out a special review of interest matters with regard to DHBs.

Very interesting that minute. In February 2005 Ken Douglas had no declarations of conflict of interest and just two short months later now all of a sudden has conflicts. The following month his partner is working at Healthcare NZ and then in March 2007 as per the minute above Mr Douglas provides additional information about Healthcare NZ.

Now the questions.
Why was a more detailed account necessary?
If it was inadequate, why wasn’t the Capital and Coast District Health Board sacked back in April last year?
If ubn-declared conflicts were the reason to sack the board then why hasn’t CCDHB suffered the same fate as HBDHB?

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Even the Grumpy Old Guys have had a gutsful of Cunliffe

This message may seriously harm somebody’s health |

The universe is full of oddities and coincidences. They often leave us wondering about crop circles, Stonehenge, black holes and the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board. In almost every case, there is no rational explanation.

How are we, for example, to explain the Lotto phenomenon? It’s said that there is an unusual occurrence of high-rolling Lotto winners who bought their tickets from Peter Dunkerley’s pharmacy in Hawke’s Bay. Mr Dunkerley was also a member of the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, sacked by Health Minister David Cunliffe. This is a very strange collision of circumstances, and one that would need serious public money to investigate. Perhaps Dunkerley is less a pharmacist and more of an alchemist…

Cunliffe is working overtime to earn an unhealthy reputation as New Zealand’s leading surgeon specialising in character assassination, while alienating DHB members he’s never met, rather than doing what he’s paid for: chief guardian of people’s health. Evidently shocked by the public negative response to his sacking of the democratically elected board, and facing widespread opposition to the so-called independent report into conflicts of interest, Health Czar Cunliffe has threatened to reveal more serious evidence of conflicts of interest among board members. Not that anyone can sue him, because he can say anything that springs to mind, under Parliamentary privilege rules. Surely he must be trying to help somebody – but who could it be?

Folks, we have not heard the last of this scandal let me tell you that for free. The Grumpy Old Guys aren’t slow in coming forward also.

But let’s return to other oddities and coincidences that are obscured in the vast wilderness of a report that most people will find boring and bewildering, even before they get beyond the Contents section.

Instead, ponder this:

Isn’t it interesting that Mr Chris Clarke, the current but nowadays ever-so-slightly remote CEO of Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, is claimed to have once worked in Helen Clark’s office?

Isn’t it curious that former Health Minister Annette King’s husband was once deputy CEO of the same board, and even odder that when he left, he joined the board of Peter Hausmann’s healthcare company, Healthcare New Zealand Limited? Yet more curious is the fact that Mr Hausmann was Annette King’s government appointee to… the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board.

And did you guess that Mr Hausmann’s company made a failed bid for a $50 million contract with… the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board?

Getting suspicious? Get over it – this was just an unusual collision of happy chances, poorly handled by… the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board.

Getting the idea that there are two alternatives to a real life: setting fire to your genitals or standing as a candidate in the next Hawke’s Bay District Health Board elections? Good. Right decision. Keep away from public service, but do try to stay fit and well for as long as possible.

Ouch, setting fire to your genitals or standing for a Health Board!!! But wait there is more, as they say in the tacky middle of the night advertisements.

What is certain, though, is that if Cunliffe truly managed to read and digest all 80,000 words of the “DHB damning” report within a few hours of its release (without a scintilla of previous knowledge) he’s a genius and deserves to be in charge of the entire nation, plus Australia. We’ll be reading every single word of the report, and we predict that not one will help any patient anywhere in New Zealand.

What’s also now beyond any doubt is that the bloated system of 21 DHBs for only 4 million people is utterly unworkable and unaffordable, wide open to serious corruption, and serves no patient in this country.

The national DHB debacle was personally created by Helen Clark. It should be thrown into the dustbin of history – along with her and all the other idiots who have wasted taxpayers’ money on a healthcare system they touted as democratically-accountable to local people but is evidently subject to the whim of a puny dictator.

Phew!….they really are Grumpy Old Guys, but surprisingly accurate in their portrayal of the players.

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Hawke's Bay united against Labour and Cunliffe

Mayors: We stand by sacked board – Hawkes Bay Today – 2008-03-18 17:00:00.0 – localnews

The Hawke’s Bay District Health Board scandal rumbles on. Labour thought they could “Ingram” this report, they thought wrong.

Napier Mayor Barbara Arnott said the Minister of Health was “fundamentally wrong for dismissing the board”.

She said Mr Cunliffe got what he expected from the report into conflict-of-interest claims on the board, but that won’t stop her council from pushing for a judicial review of the board’s sacking.

“Nothing has changed. His reasons [for sacking the board] are still so slight they don’t even come on the radar.

“We believe this board is no worse than any other DHB in NZ and better in many criteria.

“Let’s face it – the minister got what he expected from the report, the second report, and so did we. I am not surprised.”

The next step will be for the mayors to wait for the Health Minister to reply and then a judicial review could be held mid-2008.

The government will want a judicial review like I want cancer, right in the middle of the election year. The government hasn’t fared so well in judicial reviews so far losing all of them.

HBDHB scandal

The Hawke’s Bay District Health Board corruption scandal is now being covered in the Herald, in depth and also the SST. Labour’s whitewash isn’t going to wash and that is why the Air New Zealand Slave Labour scandal got an airing. Here is a round up of HBDHB stories.

Fran O’Sullivan: Hausmann’s punt for vindication – 16 Mar 2008 – Public healthcare news – NZ Herald

Healthcare of New Zealand’s chief executive Peter Hausmann took a big punt by going public on Thursday claiming he would be vindicated by an inquiry into the management of his conflicts of interest on the former Hawke’s Bay District Health Board.

Two days before the inquiry team’s final report was due to be delivered to Health Minister David Cunliffe, Hausmann effectively said he could stay silent no longer while his reputation continued to be attacked in Parliament.

Lawyers usually counsel against claiming victory until judges or, in this case the Director-General of Health’s review panel, release their findings.

But Hausmann was confident enough after all the toing and froing between his lawyers, Russell McVeagh, and the review team, to claim that the final report would vindicate and explain his position.

At issue now is whether Hausmann’s comments may have set the scene for a legal challenge to the inquiry team’s report.

Quite how that reconciles with the draft report which said “There were significant barriers to a vendor other than Healthcare New Zealand succeeding with the proposal. Healthcare New Zealand and Peter Hausmann, on the other hand, knew what was required as it had seen the February 2005 board paper, which set out what the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board wanted’?” is beyond every commentator except Peter Hausmann, Annette King, Ray Lind and David Cunliffe.

Fran O’Sullivan: Contracts challenged – 16 Mar 2008 – Public healthcare news – NZ Herald

Hausmann is now on full attack against the former board;

Former Hawke’s Bay District Health Board member Peter Hausmann has challenged the interests of other former board members in the management of health board commercial contracts.

Hausmann – who is at the centre of an inquiry into the management of his own conflicts of interest at the health board – this week went public claiming the final report which is expected to be released tomorrow would vindicate him.

The ONLY way he knows the report will “vindicate him” is if he has seen it, leading to questions as to whether the minister has also seen it.

District Health Board members go to police – Sunday Star-Times – National News

Two District Health Board members have gone to the police to ask them to investigate the case.

TWO MEMBERS of the sacked Hawke’s Bay District Health Board have asked police to investigate the Peter Hausmann conflict of interest case, saying they believe the review panel findings, due out tomorrow, have been “hijacked for political expediency”.

Diana Kirton and Helen Walker lodged a complaint with Hastings police on Friday, and say the move was endorsed by other former board members. They also want police to investigate the actions of health board managers around the contracts with companies Hausmann is involved in. Kirton and Walker say they gave police evidence recovered after computer files were sent to London for forensic examination. That “supports our view that board contracts were seriously compromised”.

Hausmann rather predictably considering he has two government ministers and the husband of one of them in his pocket, laughed off the complaint.

Board games in Hawkes Bay health – Sunday Star-Times – National News
A useful timeline and cast of characters is listed in the SST by Anthony Hubbard. Just reading that un-biased litany of conflict should raise hackles.

The Hive: Baygate
The Hive reports that the SST has an article on page A3 from Ruth Laugesen which asks;

Ruth Laugesen reports Annette King saying “she and her husband Ray Lind will be cleared of wrong doing” by tomorrow’s report.

How does she know this? And why have there been such radical changes to this report between first draft and the final version? This is a very bad look. All the major characters talking in advance with great confidence about being vindicated.

Lastly there is fellow blogger Inventory1 at Keeping Stock who has his own questions;

I have a few questions of my own.

* How would he know that the report “vindicates him”?
* Has he or his legal team already seen the report?
* Given the snide comments that he has made in the House about “smoking guns” and who they are pointed at, has David Cunliffe already seen the report?
* How can a report, which in its first draft was so criticial of Hausmann’s involvement – “There were significant barriers to a vendor other than Healthcare New Zealand succeeding with the proposal. Healthcare New Zealand and Peter Hausmann, on the other hand, knew what was required as it had seen the February 2005 board paper, which set out what the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board wanted.” (as per Hansard, 13/3/08) – change so much in its final form, that Hausmann now claims to be exonerated?
* Has the review team also considered submissions from the Board, and was any weight given to them?

Something very rotten has been happening at the HBDHB, but I bet the report that comes out tomorrow has King, Lind and Hausmann smelling of roses.

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Weapon of Mass Distraction

Revealed: Air New Zealand’s mile-high pay gap – 15 Mar 2008 – NZ Herald: New Zealand National news

The Air New Zealand Slave Labour Story is a government “Weapon of Mass Distraction”.

Highly placed sources have contacted Whale Oil Beef Hooked to explain that this story has been leaked, ostensibly from the Ninth Floor but with the tacit approval of the shareholding ministers.

The shareholding ministers have known about the contractual staffing issues with the Shanghai flights since they began, in fact my sources told me that the airline checked with the ministers BEFORE entering into the contracts with the staffing suppliers in Shanghai.

This story has been leaked for one reason only, to limit the damage coming from the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board report. The view of staffers in the know is that the government can spin the Air New Zealand story onto the senior management of Air New Zealand. Essentially the line will be that though they are shareholding ministers they have no day to day control over the airline. This flies in the face of management advice to the government about these employment contractual mechanisms.

Air New Zealand has plenty of other such arrangements with staffing on flights, particularly to the Pacific. However the nature of the disparity between the pay rates on the China flights necessitated management advisories to the shareholding ministers under the “no surprises” protocol.

My sources at Air new Zealand also confirm these arrangements had government approval.

So as my various sources have confirmed, this story was leaked by and with the approval of the ninth floor and the shareholding ministers in order to limit the damage of the HBDHB report release on Monday.

My sources are verifiable and I have no reason based on the evidence supplied to dis-beleive them, my Air New Zealand sources have also confirmed the evidence supplied.


Another Day, another email

The emails just keep flooding in about the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board.

The sacked members of the board have issued a press release.


The former board members of the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board expect the review panel’s report, due out on Monday, will be a “whitewash”.

Based on comments made to date, both inside and outside Parliament, they suspect the report will fail to address many of the key issues and ignore evidence given in the Board members’ submissions.

Comments made under Parliamentary privilege this week indicated that the final report will be radically different from the first draft.

“This whole process reeks of political interference,” the former Board members said today.

“Based on comments made by Mr Hausmann earlier today, it appears that he has been given advance notice of some of the report’s content. It now seems clear that this exercise has been nothing more than a drawn-out, pointless, whitewash,” the former Board members said.

“There seems little doubt now that the only way the public will get full disclosure and accountability on this matter is for the Auditor General to investigate. We will continue to ask him to do just that.”

The purpose of the report was to review the conflict of interest concerns surrounding Government-appointed Board member Peter Hausmann and the way in which the Board, the chief executive and senior managers handled those conflicts.

“We’ve always maintained that the conduct of Mr Hausmann, chief executive Chris Clarke and certain senior managers in managing the conflicts of interest was, and remains, unacceptable for a publicly accountable entity,” said the former Board members.

– ends -

Yes, unfortunately for Cunliffe the original draft report will be seeing the light of day on or about the same day he reaches for his bucket of whitewash.

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Smelly, very smelly

New Zealand Parliament – 3. District Health Boards—Tendering Process

Tony Ryall and Bill English eviscerated Cunliffe today, bit by bit by bit. One question after another showing that despite his posturing he most assuredly is NOT running the show. It is only the lame attempts by Cullen and the protection of the Speaker that he survived. It appears from the transcript that Cunliffe knows more than he is letting on and that he is being very evasive over it. He repeatedly assures everyone he hasn’t seen a thing. When politicians assure you that something hasn’t happened ad nauseum it is pretty certain that it has. This whole episode reeks like rancid mutton and may well be the final scandal in this taudry government. i note that in the urgent debate this afternoon that the Greens and NZ Winston First were hunting for the minister as well. Is this the scandal that broke the camels back?

Hon Tony Ryall: Is the Minister aware of the email that shows that chief executive Chris Clarke instructed staff to send draft tender documents to Mr Hausmann—who had indicated he would be a bidder—some weeks before the tender process opened, and before any other bidder saw the documents; and is this acceptable behaviour?

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE: As I have already confirmed, I do not have access to the material that may be the subject of the director-general’s independent review, but I do note that the member seems to be labouring under some misapprehension that it is my role to defend Mr Hausmann, which it is not.

Hon Tony Ryall: Is he aware of this email that shows that Mr Hausmann, appointed by the Labour Government, having received this confidential draft tender document, proposed changes that would benefit his company, and is that what he would expect of someone being appointed to the board of that very district health board?

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE: In the first place, may I reconfirm to the member and to the House that my decision of recent weeks did not turn on which parties may or may not have acted correctly, but is predicated on the level of overall conflict and dysfunction at that district health board. In the second instance I wonder whether the member is drawing upon material that is covered by a confidentiality deed, subject to lawyers’ undertakings, in respect of the director-general’s independent process.

Hon Tony Ryall: Is he aware from this email that the chief executive agreed to alter the tender documents in precisely the terms proposed by Mr Hausmann, at a time when no other bidder had such access, and is that a proper and ethical process?

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE: I think the public will find it very interesting, when the final director-general’s report comes out, just exactly what has been doctored by whom.

Hon Tony Ryall: Is he aware that the final document that went out to all tenderers incorporated the changes proposed by Mr Hausmann, whose company was the eventual successful party, and does he think that all potential bidders were fairly treated equally in this process?

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE: May I firstly confirm that I do not have access to the material that is in the director-general’s draft report, and, secondly, may I reconfirm to the House that my decisions in respect of the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board do not turn on the proprieties or otherwise of any one individual, but rather, on the overall level of conflict and dysfunction surrounding that board.

Hon Bill English: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. There is a standard in this House that when a Minister gives an answer it should be truthful. In successive answers the Minister has just contradicted himself. In this answer he said that he had no access to the draft material in the report being done by the Director-General of Health. In a previous answer he intimated that material was going to come out showing that someone had altered the minutes of no doubt some significant meeting. He cannot say both things to the House within 3 minutes—first, that he does not know about the material, and then on the other hand, give details and quote from that material.

Hon Dr Michael Cullen: The Minister clearly said he had not received details. In his previous answer he said he would welcome the report appearing, and he would expect that the report would show exactly who doctored what. I note the highly sensitive reaction from the Opposition front bench on that matter.

Hon Bill English: Dr Cullen’s explanation is completely irrelevant. The fact is the Minister made two directly contradictory statements about his access to the material. The House has the right to know which one it should believe, because it cannot believe both.

Hon Dr Michael Cullen: Mr English himself tried to cover his own butt by saying the Minister intimated certain things. What in fact happened was that members on the Opposition front bench inferred certain things, which might imply certain knowledge on their behalf.

Madam SPEAKER: This is a matter of debate, it is not a point of order, and undoubtedly there will be opportunities to do that.

Hon Tony Ryall: Does the Minister recognise that the email from Mr Hausmann proposing changes to the tender document, to his advantage, is a smoking gun showing that there is something rotten and improper in the relationship between the management of this district health board and Mr Hausmann, and does he condone this sort of activity within a public organisation?

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE: When the director-general’s review is finally published, having been delayed by the board acting at the request of the chairman, I think we will see which smoking guns are pointed at whom.

Hon Tony Ryall: Does the Minister realise that this stench of cronyism all began because of Annette King’s foolish and senseless promotion of Mr Hausmann, and does the Minister have any idea why Annette King was so keen to appoint this man?

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE: Any appointments that may have been made before my time as Minister are of little concern to me in this instance. I have acted—[Interruption]

Madam SPEAKER: Please continue.

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE: I have set out the grounds of my decision in respect of the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board upon taking careful advice and considering all possible options. Those grounds have nothing in particular to do with the appointment to which the member refers.

Labour will struggle to get 20% of the party vote in Hawkes Bay

Sacking of DHB stirs public fury – 29 Feb 2008 – NZ Herald: New Zealand National news

Public anger over the sacking of the HB DHB, ostensibly to protect Annette King from allegations of cronyism, is rising. Labour will struggle to crack 20% in the Hawkes Bay.

When news gets out that the arms of the State are also trying to suppress information by using the courts to shut down dissent the public will rightly march in the streets.

The Government last night gagged the news media from revealing details of a draft report of an inquiry into the Hawkes Bay District Health Board.

It deals with alleged conflicts of interest of a board member and how the board handled the conflicts.

The Director-General of Health won an interim High Court injunction preventing newspapers, television and radio stations from publishing anything from the first draft of the report, which was subsequently changed before the board was sacked.

John Boscawen should organise a march for next weekend in Napier. This smacks of an oppressive regime shutting down dissent, then again we do live under the Electoral Finance Act.


Cunliffe sacks democratically elected board.

Health Minister accused of abusing power over sacking – 27 Feb 2008 – NZ Herald: New Zealand National news

Cunliffe is doing a sterling job of trying to protect Annette King from allegations of cronyism and meddling. Today he sacked the board for nothing more than standing up to the minister.

This is a dramatic abuse of power when there are DHB’s in much worse situations that haven’t had their board sacked.

…former board chair Kevin Atkinson has hit back at Mr Cunliffe saying his sacking of the board, which was only elected late last year, was an abuse of political power.

The sacking was punishment for the board’s “refusal to endorse political cronyism and chicanery”, he said on Radio New Zealand.

B ut a series of letters released today by Mr Cunliffe show a near complete breakdown in the relationship between board members and chief executive Chris Clarke.

Surely then the answer was to sack the Chief Executive who refused to do what his board wanted. What is the point of having a board if the staff can will nilly do what they please. One in the topsy-turvy world of socialist businesses would the board get sacked for the reluctance of the Chief Executive to do as instructed.

The Clarkists are flexing their muscles in what will prove to be a short lived tantrum from Cunliffe as the election approaches.

If Clark was upset about people marching in the street then she is going to be even more upset about the folk of the Hawkes Bay rising to protest this abrogation of democracy by an out of control minister.