King on Hausmann

March 4th, 2008 at 2:13 pm by David Farrar

 There is a very useful article in the Dom Post with commenting on her appointment of to the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board:

Former health minister Annette King is standing by her decision to appoint Peter Hausmann to Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, and says she was not advised against doing so.

That is a peculiar thing to say when it is later reported:

Former board chairman Kevin Atkinson, who was sacked with the rest of the board last week, told The Dominion Post he advised Ms King on two occasions – in person and over the phone – to delay the appointment of Mr Hausmann till the tender process was completed.

and

An internal ministry e-mail from a senior analyst to the ministry’s DHB governance manager, Bruce Anderson, dated August 28, 2005, and obtained under the Official Information Act, identifies the ministry’s concerns.

The ministry advised that Mr Hausmann’s position on the board, even if he did not take part in discussions about the contract, would not address the public’s perception of fairness and might deter other companies from bidding for the tender.

King goes on to say:

Ms King said Mr Hausmann was appointed with the expectation that his conflicts of interests would be managed.

“Most potential board members do have potential ,” she said.

“That is not the issue. It is how they are managed and the disclosure of them.

“If handled at a governance level appropriately, these are not a problem.”

The issue of conflicts of interests is a vital one for DHBs. If they do not manage them well, then you can end up with what happened in Auckland with a massive laboratory testing contract cancelled by the High Court. So this is not a minor issue.

But Annette misses the major point. Yes many DHB members have conflicts of interests – but these are generally the result of DHB elections. Voters tend to vote for anyone with Dr in front of their name. The whole point of the Ministerial appointees is to balance the Board up with people not conflicted. And sure some Ministerial appointees may have minor conflicts but this was the largest possible conflict one could have – heading up a company which would tender for a $50 million contract.

Managing such a conflict is always going to be very very tough, even if everyone behaved perfectly (and there seems to be some evidence they did not). You see it is not just about having the DHB select the best company for the contract, but being able to manage that contract afterwards. If the contractor doesn’t perform as well as expected, it is a awful situation to manage if the contractor’s CEO sits on your own board.

I don’t subscribe any evil ulterior motives to Annette King in her appointment of Hausmann. I just can’t understand why she would have done it. The Board Chair was advising against it (and it is very very rare to appoint a Director against the wishes of a Chair), the Ministry of Health raised issues about it, and she knew he was going to be tendering for a major contract. Why create all these problems which could have been avoided by simply not appointing Hausmann or appointing him to another DHB where he wouldn’t have been conflicted?

Let me put it another way. If Annette King had not insisted on appointing Hausmann, does anyone think the DHB would have ended up sacked as has now happened?

This is not to say Hausmann himself is to blame (I do await the reports with interest though), for he was placed in a position by King where fallout like this was almost inevitable.

UPDATE: Tony Ryall has read in the House from some explosive e-mails, and has also alleged they were not given to the inquiry but recovered by forensic experts in London. I’ll blog the Hansard when it is available.

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40 Responses to “King on Hausmann”

  1. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    DPF IF you cant understand why King appointed Hausmann then you have answered your own question.

    In my humble experience of 25 years in governance having been involved in dealing with some very messy governance matters I have learnt that where there is no apparent motive then the worst construction is almost always the correct construction.

    Provided the appointer has all the relevant facts before them if they make an inappropriate appointment then its for only 1 of 2 reasons.

    1. They lack the necessary knowledge of good governance principles and therefore shouldnt be in the position.

    2. They have a defective moral governance compass.

    Either way it aint a good look

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  2. slightlyrighty (2,476 comments) says:

    Cunliffe is getting a bit of a grilling in parliament today and has in my view, been caught in a lie, having just referred to 2 parties as being in a report about to be released which he has told parliament he knew nothing about, and compounded that error by self correcting himself immediately after.

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  3. Inventory2 (10,443 comments) says:

    English was quick to pounce on that. While ruling on the point-of-order Wilso said there will be opportunity for debate later which suggests a snap debate is about to take place.

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  4. slightlyrighty (2,476 comments) says:

    Why is Annette King not in the house today?

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  5. dad4justice (8,313 comments) says:

    Arrest this scumbag Hausmann and arrest the Minister of Injustice – King itch. Look these liarbour creeps are beyond words and only a snap election can bring common sense and accountability back into government . Rort after rort, but the coward kiwi goes bah, bah, bah. This is far beyond a sick joke .

    Proud to be a kiwi with a CORRUPT government !! Yeah right, we need these filthy manipulating pollies like a hole in the head. This is beyond comprehension!!! What a gutless breed kiwi’s are !!! Laughing stock of the world !!!!!

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  6. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    D4J I have a feeling in my old and well tuned waters that the end is nigh as they say. There is always a defining moment when an issue comes to light that is so big and so bad that is dwarves all those before it.

    I suspect we are seeing the begining of the uncovering when a combined SFO and AG investigation will reveal the true extent of the so called ‘friendly tender process” as it is known is many quarters.

    If so wait for the bang Its gonna be a big one

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  7. dad4justice (8,313 comments) says:

    gd ,no wonder liabour scrapped the Serious Fraud Office, as all the bitches and bastards have had their insipid thieving fingers in the public purse!! Many will go to prison I hope. Time for clean up. Snap election this month as we cannot lose a moment to nab these criminals.

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  8. Inventory2 (10,443 comments) says:

    The urgent debate is underway, and after avoiding answering any questions during Question Time, Cunliffe is full of it now – and he isn’t even the speaker at the moment!

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  9. dad4justice (8,313 comments) says:

    Arrest Sullen Kullen the caustic history teacher NOW . Lock him in solitary confinement for 10 years ~! Throw Cunliffe over the cliff ( metaphorically speaking -of course) Criminals = Labour.

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  10. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    Why is Annette King not in the house today?

    Why don’t possums stand in the middle of State Highway One at rush hour? Like DPF, I can’t ascribe “evil ulterior motives” to Annette King , because that would require some degree of competence or judgement that’s hard to discern here. Very big cock-up over conspiracy works for me.

    And now might be a good time for Sheriff Cunliffe to stop jangling his spurs, because this is getting weird.

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  11. Linda Reid (417 comments) says:

    “Never ascribe to malice what can be adequately accounted for by stupidity.” Hard to believe she could be so stupid, but I guess it’s possible.

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  12. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    i gave ryall an ‘extra-in-a-midsomer-murder-mystery-award’..

    for his over-use/over-ennunciation of the word ‘forensic’..

    key was ‘lame-as’..

    and dail jones got the ‘fashion-award’..

    (stand up the salesperson who flogged him that one..!..)

    ‘cos he was ‘a vision in beige’..

    http://whoar.co.nz/2008/questiontime4308/

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  13. slightlyrighty (2,476 comments) says:

    Good reference to the last government report, from Noel Ingram, that found just what the government wanted, and has been subsequently found to be a complete whitewash, due for an explosive sequel in the high court!

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  14. slightlyrighty (2,476 comments) says:

    By the way, doesn’t Tony Ryall seem happy in his work!

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  15. dad4justice (8,313 comments) says:

    “Whitewash” the new age Labour and Ministry of Injustice motto.

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  16. slightlyrighty (2,476 comments) says:

    Good to see Sue Kedgley getting stuck into the minister as well!

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  17. Inventory2 (10,443 comments) says:

    The Greens are now slagging Cunliffe! They find his reasons for the sacking “unconvincing” and say that as more information has emerged today, their concerns have increased. Sheesh – next thing, Anderton will be distancing himself from Cunliffe as well!

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  18. dad4justice (8,313 comments) says:

    I’ll do anything to be screaming about corrupt Labour in the beehive at the moment, but sadly madam speaker will yell ARREST THAT MAN .
    Drink yourself too bliss – as the guminit is weak as piss. Get yourself another….

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  19. Spam (588 comments) says:

    So Annette King believes that Peter Hausmann can manage his conflict of interest, but that Madeline Setchell can’t?

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  20. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    and dail jones got the ‘fashion-award’..

    (stand up the salesperson who flogged him that one..!..)

    ‘cos he was ‘a vision in beige’..

    How dare you comment on a mans appearance!

    That is without at least supplying a picture via your blog!

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  21. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    Linda Could that level of incompetence by King render her incapable of holding a Minsterial Warrant and if not why not.

    A student of good governance 101 would have made a better decision presented with the facts she had or should have had.

    Unlike you and Craig I prefer to stick with my hunch that this is something more than incompetence and the actions by Cunliffe subsequently point to the same conclusion

    By firing the Board he has effectively shut down the opportunity for the truth to surface unless the SFO/AG get their teeth into it

    By the way D4J the SFO is still in business although bleeding its best staff by the day who dont see any future with Plod as their bosses.

    Sadly white collar crime will be the big winner as Plod wont put any resources in.

    If I was so inclined Id be setting up to do some corporate identity fraud. With the lack of controls around the Companies Office and our slack attitudes to corproate governance there is little risk involved.

    Asian and East European operatives will be licking their lips at the easy pickings.

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  22. Inventory2 (10,443 comments) says:

    Surely, after all the attacks on his character, integrity and ability by Labour and its cronies, the Auditor-General would just LOVE to have something significant to get his teeth into – especially if he could release his report, oooh, about the end of October. Payback is a bitch eh David!

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  23. Linda Reid (417 comments) says:

    gd, I think at least half our current crop of ministers would find it impossible to get a highly paid job in the real world. King may well be corrupt. She’s definitely stupid.

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  24. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    IV2 Right ON Licking my lips at the thought of the AG getting into some deep and meaningful ‘discovery” and getting the forensic boys and girls to work on the hard drives to uncover the email conversations and docs that have been read and deleted but not lost to the world.

    Id put some of the lower level officials under some (cough) creative questioning You never know what diary or file notes they may have made at the time as insurance for the future.

    Sometimes the least likely proves to be the most productive source.

    Looks to mke these not just a smoking gun here theres a smoking arsenal waiting to be uncovered.

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  25. burt (8,324 comments) says:

    gd

    A bit like the taito Field inquiry, it will be well signalled and a warning period of at least 18 months will be exercised before any computer forensics are conducted – nothing to see here from this brand new computer – move on.

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  26. Inventory2 (10,443 comments) says:

    It sounds as though the largest calibre and “smokingest” gun is the back-up tape that has been forensically examined in the UK – I’m sure that Tony Ryall won’t have tabled all of the incriminating e-mails today, and that a drip-feed will continue. It is a VERY bad look if the two people whom Cunliffe has relied upon the most to discredit the DHB, Messrs Clarke and Hausmann, turn out to be at the centre of practices which could be varyingly described as – multichoice question here – unprofessional, unethical, unscrupulous, dishonest, cronyist, or…..corrupt.

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  27. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    “gd”:

    “1. They lack the necessary knowledge of good governance principles and therefore shouldnt be in the position.

    2. They have a defective moral governance compass.”

    “Good governance principles” are all part of the Western traditions that this whole “critical theory” movement is trying to destroy. And when it is the fashion to deny the existence of any valid truth, and make out that any person is entitled to their own truth; MATE! – what’s a moral compass?

    The tragedy is that so many voters don’t see anything in this. Yeah, man, we just vote for the guys that we fink will look after us, man………wot’s principles of governance?

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  28. Inventory2 (10,443 comments) says:

    burt – Ryall, in his speech in the snap debate, suggested the insertion of the name Noel Ingram in the title of the report, then reminded the House that Cunliffe was the very Minister who defended TPF until such time as Helen cut Field loose and called in the rozzers!

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  29. burt (8,324 comments) says:

    I2

    So looking at this another way, as long as King (or Hausmann) don’t suggest they might stand against the govt then they will be fine. Nothing to see here – move on.

    What about that Glenn eh, bet he’s rubbing his hands together as his shipping company load another 15m tonns of whitewash on a container ship bound for NZ.

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  30. burt (8,324 comments) says:

    I’m considering writting Annette King a letter asking her;

    IF I promise her husband a job in my company will she award me a few million worth of Govt contracts and appoint me to the most appropriate board so I can wallow in public money. I’m sure she will see the funny side in it.

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  31. paulhelen (99 comments) says:

    The real question is once again being missed. That King appointed Hausman knowing there was a conflict of interest to manage is stupid indeed but the real question is: Why Hausman. When the vacancy arose on the board who was it that recomended Hausman to Annette King or did she just stick a pin in the phone book? Question for a sleuth. Is there or was there a connection between Lind and Hausman prior to Hausman’s appointment to the board?

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  32. burt (8,324 comments) says:

    paulhelen

    I wonder if King & Hausmann ever had dinner together? That would be enough to send her packing if she was a National party MP.

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  33. paulhelen (99 comments) says:

    But my point is valid. Isn’t it rather coincidental that King appointed Hausman when he was probably the only person she could have appointed who DID have a conflict of interest. What’s the odds of that happening by chance? Think guys.

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  34. Inventory2 (10,443 comments) says:

    Anyone else see the crap that 3News put up tonight – not even a mention of Cunliffe and Baygate – and Helen thinks the MSM is biased against Labour!!

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/03/what-media-bias-helen.html

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  35. Tauhei Notts (1,749 comments) says:

    What is it with these Labour Party women?
    Annette lives with a male, but he seems to be a gentleman who’s truthfulness you doubt a bit.

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  36. Inventory2 (10,443 comments) says:

    Hansard for Q3 this afternoon “The smoking gun” is now online at Keeping Stock

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  37. bwakile (757 comments) says:

    Labour can hang out to dry over this affair but it will need persistence. The media coverage today was pathetic. Have to agree Cullens announcement was timed to perfection.
    It has all the makings of a great story – ministers, money , health, sacked boards, conflict of intersts, husbands etc
    What more can you hand National on a plate.

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  38. Right of way is Way of Right (1,122 comments) says:

    You know, I am sure this whole mess would naver have happened had Annette King used a modicum of Common Sense.

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  39. bwakile (757 comments) says:

    No ROWIWOF you misheard
    She said conmansense

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  40. captkooza (1 comment) says:

    I think you all have raised valid points with the examination of Tony Ryall’s efforts yesterday.

    The one issue that I have with this whole affair is that the past Minister who is implicated in these corruption allegations is currently the Minister of Justice.

    I worked in Indonesia for twelve years during the Suharto era. This whole affair is making me quite nostalgic.

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