Tukituki MP Anna Lorck is happy with assurances from the Hawke's Bay District Health Board that about $2 million in "special funds" given or bequeathed to the DHB for health services in the region will be protected under the new health system.
Lorck said people had approached her asking if the money donated for Hawke's Bay would still be available as intended, after transitioning to a new health system. She said the special fund was sitting at about $2m when she was on the board.
"It's important that in this transition, where the HBDHB is dissolving, that its special funds are protected."
Lorck wrote to the HBDHB seeking assurances that the money would be protected, managed and allocated, receiving a reply last week saying the funds would be managed for the purpose for which they have been provided.
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In response to questions from the Hastings Leader, acting HB DHB chief executive Andrew Boyd said Health NZ will automatically become the trustee of the special funds on July 1, when the Pae Ora Act 2022 (Healthy Futures Act) comes into force.
Boyd said, "The DHB is not a professional fund manager and has sought advice about moving some funds to a purpose-built vehicle, Foundation Hawke's Bay, which is better placed to grow the investment potential and therefore the benefits the community may enjoy from the funds."
However, the terms of two trusts, The Bell Trust and The Shrimpton Trust, do not allow the DHB to transfer the funds to another trust.
The DHB will provide the surviving families with options for immediate use of the donated funds as close as possible to the expressed purpose.
Lorck said, "I am pleased, having been approached by members of the public to seek assurances, that we now have an absolute commitment to ensure these special funds are protected.
"The new health locality networks are being established to provide a strong connection to the local community and I would expect representatives of these trusts to be invited to provide input into how these special funds are managed and allocated."