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Hawke's Bay Health Court Case Adjourned For Talks

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Nov 21 NZPA - Legal action by five Hawke's Bay councils to force the government to reinstate their sacked health board has been put on hold to allow talks to try to reach a compromise.

Previous Health Minister David Cunliffe sacked the board this year citing internal divisions, an irrevocable breakdown in relations with hospital management and a $7.7 million budget blowout.

He appointed commissioner Sir John Anderson in its place.

That spurred the region's councils to mount a ratepayer-funded judicial review of Mr Cunliffe's decision, which they attacked as undemocratic.

But a hearing set down for yesterday was adjourned after a joint approach from the councils and Crown Law.

It follows the election of the National government, which has promised to reinstate the board to some sort of governance role.

New Health Minister Tony Ryall has suggested the old board could sit alongside and assist Sir John in his role as commissioner.

Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule today said on Radio New Zealand the adjournment had been sought so talks could be held next week to try to reach a solution.

The joint approach for the adjournment followed talks with the incoming government.

Mr Yule said the councils were happy with the way Sir John had been running the DHB, but all options including the complete reinstatement of the board needed to be considered.

He said the councils would talk to the former board members ahead of talks with Mr Ryall expected in the middle of next week.

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