The manager of a Wairarapa Maori health service specialising in drug and alcohol programmes has been convicted of drink-driving for the fifth time.
My rule of thumb is that means he has probably driven drunk around 500 times or so.
Taiawhio Tame Gemmell manages Masterton-based Te Hauora Runanga O Wairarapa, which is funded by the Wairarapa District Health Board and lists drug and alcohol counselling and education programmes among its core services.
They don’t seem very good at it if one of their own managers seems impervious to change.
Gemmell’s supervisor at the health service said yesterday the conviction was “a blow” to the organisation, but she supported him and hoped he would not resign, or be forced to.
“If I had a problem with the way he worked, that would be different. But he’s a good manager,” runanga board chairwoman Angie Pourau said.
If his supervisor is the board chair, then he is the equivalent of the chief executive. There is a strong leadership role with such a senior position. I think his position is untenable.
She knew Gemmell had four previous convictions for drink-driving when he was hired, but his alcohol problem was no barrier, as he was not directly involved with drug and alcohol counselling.
Doesn’t matter, if he is the chief executive.
“Nobody’s perfect, and when you look at our client base it’s those who really need our help. I honestly believe Maoridom will support him because he’s an excellent manager.”
The question I have, is what is the success rate of this organisation in terms of treating people with alcohol and drug problems? My suspicion is low, based on their relaxed attitude to even their CEO being a recidivist drink driver.