Hawke's Bay District Health Board's departing chief executive has criticised an outspoken board member in a memo to all DHB staff and apologised for her "unfounded criticism".
DHB CEO Kevin Snee sent June 21 memos to maternity staff and "all staff" after the attempted uplift of a baby from Hastings Hospital by Oranga Tamariki staff was unsuccessful on May 7.
Snee's maternity memo apologised to staff for the "unfounded criticism" they had been subjected to by "one of our board members" who he says did not have full knowledge of what occurred.
The board member is Jacoby Poulain who had claimed the DHB had "failed significantly in its duty of care to provide safe and adequate care to mother and child in this situation".
Poulain takes issue with the memos and says she has "never spoken about staff", but about the accountability of the DHB as a whole which, she believes, is her governance role as a board member.
The May 7 incident, highlighted in a Newsroom video, has sparked multiple ongoing investigations.
Poulain, who did not attend this week's monthly board meeting, says Snee's comments are "out of line and inappropriate".
"He is delving into governance matters which is not his business to be involved with. His comments ... risk undermining the accountability function that governance holds over the role of a CEO and that's concerning for me."
In the memo to all staff, Snee says it has been a "rough few weeks". He criticises Poulain as well as media for their "biased and unbalanced" coverage of the incident.
Snee - who finishes his role in August to take up a new position as chief executive of the Waikato District Health Board - also reiterated that the police and Oranga Tamaraki had "significant powers" and the DHB had "very little control in these circumstances".
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A midwife was in the room at all times, Snee said.
Asked about the memos, Snee said he stood by them, and his staff.
"This is a complex case and the DHB considers its staff acted appropriately and professionally in very difficult circumstances.
"Because this case is before the courts, I will not be making any further comment regarding the events of that day."
Poulain said Snee was "continually defending his account of the situation when it is clear to me he does not have a full accurate account of what happened".
"I know that's not accurate because I am aware of accounts of people that were at the event that have not been heard formally but wish to be heard."
She said that was the reason investigations were now under way, and why she initially asked for an independent investigation to ensure that the full facts from all parties were ascertained to get an accurate picture of what happened.