Health Minister Ayesha Verrall has sacked Health NZ Chairperson Rob Campbell.
Campbell was fired following a post he made on LinkedIn in which he criticised the National Party’s Three Waters Policy. The post was said to breach the Public Service Commission’s Code of Conduct on political neutrality.
Campbell claimed the comments were made in a private capacity, but Health Minister Ayesha Verrall decided otherwise and stripped him of his chairperson role over concerns he could not be politically neutral.
Campbell’s comments attracted criticism from both major parties, with National Party leader Christopher Luxon saying they were ‘appalling’, while Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said they were ‘inappropriate’.
An announcement on Campbell’s replacement will be made shortly. Former Hutt Valley DHB Member Richard Stein told RNZ the new chair needed to be someone with a health background and who understood the complexities of the NZ health system. He said said there was a disconnect between leadership and health staff, who hadn’t see any change or vision, or an increase in staffing levels over several months.