We have a standoff.
Hawke's Bay District Health Board member Jacoby Poulain's text to chairman Kevin Atkinson saying she had resigned "effective immediately" was a hint that months of conflict between the pair was set to end.
Instead, it's only started the beginning of a stalemate, with both now disagreeing over her status as a board member.
Poulain told Hawke's Bay Today she has decided to stay on, and won't send a formal resignation letter, but will not attend any further meetings.
And with no formal letter Minister of Health David Clark has few legal options other than to wait for Poulain's next move, Atkinson says.
"I would find it quite unusual for someone to send a text message as she did, and then not resign," Atkinson said.
Atkinson, whose only contact with Poulain after the text message on Wednesday, July 31, was an email outlining proper protocol with regard to resigning, questioned what the purpose was of not formalising her resignation was.
"I just find that quite bizarre," he said.
He believed this situation was unprecedented. "I mean I don't think the sector's ever experienced this sort of behaviour, to be honest."
The relationship between Poulain and the board frayed after she criticised Hawke's Bay Hospital for the care of a mother as Oranga Tamariki attempted to uplift her newborn baby.
She has missed the past three board meetings, since the May 7 incident.
Atkinson said he is "not interested in pursuing it anymore to be quite honest".
"It is up to the Minister to decide whether he will accept a board member not coming to seven board meetings in a row.
"I'm not going to lose any sleep over that and just get on with the rest of the board and do our job," he said.
Atkinson said he found it "extremely disappointing" that they've been faced with this issue for the past three months.
"I think the whole board have just really got over it now and want to move on from the last three months of the term and deal with the issues that we've got. I don't intend on allocating any more time to it."
A spokesman for Clark's office said legally, she's still a member of the board, as no notice of resignation has been received by him.
"In terms of her not turning up to board meetings, there are some rules around this in terms of action that the chairman can take in what I understand are states services commission guidelines for governance for board members which apply here."
He said what is "required here is clarity on exactly what her status is at this point".
A Ministry of Health Spokesperson said a member will remain on the board until such time as a notice of resignation, in the proper form, is received by the Minister, or they are otherwise removed (including if not re-elected or appointed as a member following a DHB election).
Poulain said she chose to not complete the resignation process once she realised the text message didn't count.
"I refuse effectively to accept that it is fair that I'm the only one that is being disciplined for doing something that I still maintain was totally lawful and my job to do, which is to speak the truth on matters on behalf of my constituents," she said.
"At the end of the day, all I want to do is to be able to deal with fixing the core issue that catalysed this situation but also the wider issue at the health board.
"This wasn't just about that event, but I believe our system is in crisis and we've got some major issues such as pressure on doctors and nurses in the workforce and our services that we need to deal with," Poulain said.
"It is important that we're able to have healthy communication atmosphere to do that but that's not there at the moment."
What is the proper process to resign?
Section 44 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 sets out the proper process:
(1) A member of a statutory entity may resign from office by written notice to the responsible Minister (with a copy to the entity) signed by the member.
(2) The resignation is effective on receipt by the responsible Minister of the notice or at any later time specified in the notice.
How many District Health Board Meetings can you miss?
The State Services Commission (SSC) provides advice and guidance to agencies on the interpretation and implementation of the Cabinet Fees Framework. This framework includes guidance on absences.
90) Where an individual receives an annual fee and is absent from body business for a period of greater than two months, then the annualised fee should be pro-rated to take account of this absence (e.g. absence of 2 months would result in payment of 10/12 of the annual fee). Where there are frequent absences over the period of a year, the annual fee should also be pro-rated to take account of those absences. (This does not apply to members who work full time or substantially full time).
91) Where a member fails to attend a significant number of meetings, or otherwise perform their duties as a member, the chair needs to raise the issue of expectations about performance with the member and if necessary with the responsible Minister. Consideration should be given at the time of reappointment of members to the issue of continued absences from body business.