So how effective are they?

February 22nd, 2014 at 7:20 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

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.

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19 Responses to “So how effective are they?”

  1. kowtow (6,690 comments) says:

    Is there a Wairarapa European health service?

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  2. CHFR (195 comments) says:

    But it is different for Maori due to the Maori way. If they don’t realise this is the soft bigotry of low expectations (racism in the old language) then they are stupid…or think we are.

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  3. Barnsley Bill (929 comments) says:

    I would say that their success rate at securing truck loads of funding are significant. Who cares about outcomes, we are Maori, give us more money.

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  4. Longknives (4,040 comments) says:

    You Pakeha just don’t understand the Sacred ‘Maori way’-
    You just aren’t spiritual enough to understand..

    Now stop complaining and give us some more taxpayer cash!

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  5. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    With respect David, ‘the success rate’ may be an issue, but the more important issue is why he and the supervisor appear to have no regard for the Law. I thought you may have raised that point further.

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  6. duggledog (1,105 comments) says:

    Harriet

    It’s a Pakeha law, therefore redundant. When it suits, Pakeha law is absolutely paramount.

    Seriously though, what a story. Every day there is at least one very bad news story concerning Maori in the news. Today this guy, yesterday some foolish woman who thought it was a good idea to use drugs in Indo, on it goes.

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  7. Nostalgia-NZ (4,685 comments) says:

    I’m surprised that the employer is not insisting that Gemmell takes part in an alcohol and drug programme at the very least, or see his suitability for the job re-visited. If he’s so good at his job, as the supervisor points out, that doesn’t ring true with his failure to address his own alcohol issues. His alcohol problems are a barrier to him doing his job properly despite not being involved in the drug and alcohol counselling of others. His position towards the clients is that they have problems for which they need help but that he however he no has serious problems despite being a recidivist drink driver putting others at risk. Bad message and comprehension.

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  8. wf (315 comments) says:

    He’s setting an example. I bet he is regarded as a good bloke, and the tolerance which is extended to him in his job is reflected back upon the ‘clients’ of this ‘service’.
    No one’s perfect, eh.

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  9. Simon (612 comments) says:

    It doesnt really matter as the whole situation is a farce anyway. It not about outcomes.

    The DHB’s struggle/cant cope with the junkie/ pisshead human wreckage that turns up and overwhelms the system. They pay subbies to help manage the wreckage to help stop the wards being over flooded. Thats it.

    Here is some money just keep them from the wards. For the DHB I expect this manager is effective.

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  10. Northland Wahine (542 comments) says:

    I don’t know which concerns me more, the stupidity of the people who hired him and they feel maoridom should continue to support him.

    See, damned if you’re Maori cos you’re tarred with the same brush and damned by those who would support him when you obviously don’t.

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  11. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    The example he is setting is that Maori should not be questioned by anyone for repeatedly breaking the law, be it managers or owners.

    In the private sector most people who do this would then be seen as someone who would also break company rules – someone who should not be trusted, not manage others, not be responsable for systems, money, accounting or an other position without someone needing to look over their sholder.

    ‘Equality’ is not about being unqueastioned by ‘responsable’ people for repeatedly breaking the law.

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  12. OneTrack (1,958 comments) says:

    I honestly believe Maoridom will support him because he’s a … maori.

    There, fixed it for her.

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  13. Bad__Cat (117 comments) says:

    Not a good look. It’s like the GM of Ford NZ driving a bloody Holden!

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  14. Bad__Cat (117 comments) says:

    And the action of his supervisor is typical of the co-dependant behaviour of the current crop of amateur Drug & Alcohol treatment providers today. They don’t have a clue about the disease.

    I do have some idea, as I’m an alcoholic whose disease has been in remission for 21 years, thanks to proper treatment (Queen Mary Hospital, Hanmer Springs) and continuing care (12 Step Programme)

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  15. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    If he is Maori or Not is a non issue

    He has an alcohol problem address it

    He needs treatment

    Sounds like he working in the right place

    Maybe they can devise a treatment plan for Staff

    Cycling is good

    You roads are full of them don’t forget

    packed full of drunks I mean people with alcohol problems

    He needs to get on a Bike

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  16. corrigenda (142 comments) says:

    The trouble with these Maori setups is that the only qualification you need to run them or to be hired is to be Maori.

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  17. igm (854 comments) says:

    Birds of a feather . . . and rip the system to the extreme. Come on Tony Ryall, stop funding this disgrace, review employment contracts, and do a full audit. It appears no better than the Pipi Trust, and look what was uncovered there.

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  18. KH (686 comments) says:

    Maori avoid Maori run services. They have staff, but few clients. Because “all those people do is ride around in their cars”

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  19. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Does anyone object to me Forming the

    PAKEHA MAORI PARTY

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