Wild weather led to the former chief executive of the Whanganui District Health Board deciding to take a taxi from Wellington to Palmerston North last year that cost more than $400.

The information was made public as part of the chief executives' expenses document released each year.

The accounts show former chief executive, Julie Patterson, now interim chief at Wellington's Capital and Coast District Health Board, took a taxi on July 13, 2017, from Wellington to Palmerston North.

Patterson drove to Palmerston North and from there flew to Wellington on the morning of July 13 to attend a national chief executives' meeting.

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Wild weather that day led to Wellington Airport suspending all regional flights and Patterson had to find an alternative route to Palmerston North.

In a statement the former chief executive said she took a taxi because she felt unsafe getting behind the wheel considering the conditions at the time.

"Following the meeting, I took a taxi from Wellington to Palmerston North as my booked flight was cancelled due to poor weather," Patterson said.

"Needing to be back in Whanganui for a Whanganui DHB Combined Statutory Advisory Committee meeting the next day, I elected to take a taxi as it appeared to be the safest and fastest way to get me back to my car in Palmerston North and then back to Whanganui."

She said she was well aware of her responsibilities of ensuring appropriate travel.

Former Whanganui DHB chief executive Julie Patterson is now interim chief executive at Wellington's DHB.
Former Whanganui DHB chief executive Julie Patterson is now interim chief executive at Wellington's DHB.

"This includes regularly driving my own vehicle where possible, or a rental car if appropriate. However, due to the poor weather conditions and the late time of day, I felt it was not safe to drive myself."

The taxi ride is an anomaly in the expense disclosures - the next most expensive taxi journey was $177.91 but accounted for several journeys at meetings in Auckland and Wellington. Typically her taxi journeys as chief executive were between $20 and $40 with the odd ride more than $50.

Patterson finished at the Whanganui DHB in October last year and has been in Wellington since May after replacing the Capital and Coast District Health Board's former head, Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Bloomfield was appointed as the Director-General of Health in early June.