Disgraced chief executive Dr Nigel Murray's latest expenses will not be disclosed until an investigation into the management of his spending is complete.

Murray resigned last week after a separate investigation into three years worth of his expenses in the top job at Waikato District Health Board found "unauthorised expenses".

The two-month-long independent inquiry by an Auckland lawyer also found Murray spent more than the agreed $25,000 allocated for relocation costs when he returned from Canada to take up the $560,000 a year post in Hamilton.

Murray is recorded publicly as spending $36,000 on relocation costs, including $11,710 on early arrival accommodation costs.


After the Herald revealed Murray was under fire by Government watchdog the State Services Commission in December for not filing the annual expenses on time, disclosure was made more than two years late in January this year.

They showed Murray had spent $108,000 on domestic and international flights and accommodation for work for his first two financial years in the job.

When the Herald asked Waikato District Health Board chairman Bob Simcock about the expenses on February 8, Simcock said he was not "greatly concerned about them".

"Certainly we will be making sure they don't grow too much. But all of that work [requiring the travel] has been legitimate work carried out either for the DHB or for the national interest."

Simcock pointed out the first year's expenses were skewed because of the relocation costs.

"And those are slightly higher than we would have expected because he came earlier than we expected ... he came here and was longer in temporary accommodation."

When asked about relocation costs, Simcock yesterday said: "I am confident that I acted promptly when I became aware of any issues."

He first alerted the Health Minister Jonathan Coleman in June, and informed the board five weeks later.

The taxpayer money Murray spent in the last financial year, from July 2016 to June 2017, has still not been disclosed, despite being part of the now closed investigation.

The State Services Commission [SSC] said it had raised the issue of the Waikato DHB chief executive's expense disclosure with Simcock.

"The Commissioner's clear expectation is that the Waikato DHB chief executive's expenses will be disclosed on the same basis that applies to all other state sector chief executives," a spokesman said.

Murray's latest expenses were due by the end of July but on July 22 he went on leave and the investigation into his spending was launched.

"We understand that Audit New Zealand is currently working with the board to review the systems and processes for expense approvals," the spokesman said.

"The board chair has advised SSC that the chief executive's expenses will be disclosed once the review processes are completed. The Commissioner is comfortable with that approach."

The audit is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes previously said he expected senior leaders of government agencies to demonstrate the highest standards of integrity and conduct at all times, especially in relation to the use of taxpayers' money.

The SSC had not seen a copy of the expenses investigation but as part of Murray's resignation he was expected to pay back an unspecified amount. The board would not make a complaint to police.