A guest post by Carrick Graham:
Kiwiblog’s May post ‘A DHB with money to burn’ suggested someone OIA MidCentral DHB about how much money they have wasted on the opposition to the Dannevirke New World application to renew its liquor license.
Having lodged a few OIAs over the years, I fired off an OIA to MidCentral DHB, asking for a copy of any briefings, reports or communications to the DHB Board, the DHB CEO or the DHB Leadership Team on the costs of the objection and appeals.
I sent the response received from Deborah Davies, Operations Executive, Primary, Public and Community Health at MidCentral DHB onto Kiwiblog, which was highlighted in the post ‘More on the DHB with money to burn’.
The response said (and you can see the response here).
- There was no communication of any kind to the DHB Board around the costs of this legal action.
- There was no communication of any kind to the DHB CEO around the costs of this legal action.
- There was no communication of any kind to the Executive Leadership Team around the costs of this legal action.
It was then with some surprise to read the press release ‘Appeal over angle of shelves appalling waste of public money’ by the New Zealand Alcohol Beverage Council. In the release by Nick Leggett, says:
“I couldn’t believe that when I originally requested all emails involving the case from MidCentral, I was told there were more than 1000 emails between staff on the topic.”
Wait a minute, an official response to me on 25 June from the MidCentral DHB stated that there were no communications.
Then, a second official response was received from MidCentral DHB dated 6 July, again signed by Deborah Davis, a member of the Leadership team. It stated that:
“Dr Kenneth Clark has advised that he has not received or sent any communications, emails, briefings, memo, reports, or letters relating to the case”.
Then we see a Stuff article ‘Health boards ‘wasted’ $90,000 trying to stop supermarket changing alcohol shelf angles’. In the article Deborah Davies says “the cost had been shared by the other organisations because they “considered the matters… were of national significance”.
Sounds like there has been a fair bit of discussion about this issue at MidCentral DHB.
With that in mind, take another look at the responses received in the MidCentral DHB letters of 25 June and 6 July, particularly those relating to the Chief Medical Officer. You would think as Chief Medical Officer he would be aware that ‘other public health units representing 13 other health boards were reimbursing MidCentral $57,961 for High Court Costs.
But maybe not.