Newshub has obtained a voicemail and emails which suggest the Health Minister tried to gag senior staff talking publicly about the state of embattled Middlemore Hospital.
In one case he even appeared to promise a board member, who he’d sacked, another job if they shut up.
“I notice more and more getting reported that is really not helping at all, and I’m hopeful that there won’t be much more commentary,” Health Minister David Clark said in a voicemail to District Health Board chair Rabin Rabindran.
“My fear is that if you and I keep commenting, the story keeps ticking along. I’d rather not have distraction about who said what when.” …
The voicemail was left on April 18th, two weeks after he sacked Mr Rabindran. In the same voicemail, Mr Clark offered him a new job.
“I would consider you for further appointments because I think that sends a message.”
So David Clark joins Clare Curran in Ministers who try to silence Board Chairs. But in Clark’s case he almost bribes him with an implied promise of future appointments if he shuts up.