The woman tasked with looking after Bay of Plenty District Health Board says her sacking as part of the Waikato District Health Board today has no bearing on the role.
Sally Webb is chairwoman of the Bay of Plenty DHB. She was also chairwoman of the Waikato DHB, until today.
Health Minister David Clark has appointed a commissioner to the troubled Waikato District Health Board, saying it was "necessary" to address its numerous issues.
But Webb said she was still competent to run the Bay of Plenty DHB.
"There has been no impact on my role as chair with the Bay of Plenty District Health Board," she said.
Webb said she was one of nine members who offered to resign from the Waikato DHB.
Webb said the Waikato DHB received a letter from the Minister on April 16 outlining his concerns with the board and gave staff a two-week "natural justice" period to respond.
In a letter of response, all board members offered to resign, with the exception of Dave Macpherson and Mary Anne Gill.
Webb confirmed she was one of the nine members who offered to resign.
"When you get a letter from the Minister outlying his concerns you have to think very seriously," she said.
Webb said the letter sent by nine of the 11 Waikato DHB Board members to the Minister of Health clearly outlined the position acknowledged by the majority of board members.
In its letter to the Waikato DHB, the board members said they acknowledged the board's term had been "fraught with continual adverse publicity".
"We further acknowledge that this has created significant lack of trust and confidentially around the board table, and between the Executive, and Board."
The board's history of public disagreement made it difficult to fill the critical chief executive role, and "we recognise the board itself is a major impediment to recruiting".
The board also acknowledged it had lost the confidence of the Minister.
In a statement, Webb said it had been a "difficult period" for the Waikato DHB and "regardless of this the DHB has continued to provide high-quality health services to the people of Waikato and across the Midland region and I know that will continue to happen under the appointed commissioners".
Clark last month considered replacing the board with a commissioner over his "serious dissatisfaction" with its performance. He gave the board until May 3 to respond.
In a letter to Clark, all board members offered to resign, with the exception of Dave Macpherson and Mary Anne Gill.
Former Director-General of Health Dr Karen Poutasi will take up the commissioner's role from tomorrow.
"After careful consideration of the submissions from board members, I have decided that the appointment of a commissioner is necessary to lead the significant changes required at the DHB," Clark said.
"While I thank board members for their service, installing a commissioner is a necessary step towards addressing the DHB's deteriorating financial position, lack of strong governance, and ongoing performance issues with clinical services."
Clark said instability at a governance level had meant despite a having a Crown Monitor, it was unable to address ongoing performance issues with clinical services. It had also been unable to recruit a permanent chief executive since Nigel Murray resigned in October 2017.
Clark would change legislation so that he could cancel the Waikato DHB elections this year while the commissioner was in place. They would resume in October 2022.
The DHB has grappled with a number of issues including the resignation of former chief executive Nigel Murray after a spending scandal; the appointment of a Crown Monitor in August 2018; pulling the plug on a failed multimillion-dollar online doctor service; and having one of the largest DHB deficits in the country.
The Waikato DHB deficit was $37.2 million in 2017/18, and is forecast to balloon to $56.1m deficit for 2018/19 - with increasing deficits forecast for future years.
Sacked health boards
• June 2015: Southern District Health Board members sacked by then Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman over long-standing financial woes.
• February 2008: Hawke's Bay District Health Board members sacked by then Health Minister David Cunliffe for not managing a serious conflict of interest.
• July 2000: Tairawhiti District Health Board members sacked by then Health Minister Annette King after 465 patients received the wrong results for prostate cancer.
- Additional reporting, NZME