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Release of draft report – Independent investigation into conduct of Dr Nigel Murray

Following settlement of legal proceedings, Waikato DHB is now able to release more information from the draft report ‘Independent Investigation into the Conduct of Dr Nigel Murray’, including content that was previously redacted.

The draft report was commissioned by the DHB in 2017. It remained in draft form as Dr Murray’s resignation as chief executive of the DHB was accepted by the former Board, which brought an end to this investigation process.

Media requested the draft report and the DHB shared the view that it was in the public interest to make information available. However, Dr Murray brought legal proceedings against Waikato DHB in the Employment Relations Authority. As a result of these initial proceedings, the DHB was permitted to release the draft report with redactions in January 2019.

The Serious Fraud Office in July this year announced its decision not to prosecute Dr Murray, prompting a new request from the NZ Herald for the redactions to be removed from the draft report. Dr Murray then brought further proceedings against Waikato DHB in both the Employment Relations

Authority and the High Court to prevent further information being released from the draft report.

A settlement has now been reached in the High Court proceedings which permits the DHB to release more information with the removal of many redactions, over and above the version of the draft report we released in January 2019. Dr Murray has also agreed to withdraw the proceedings in the Employment Relations Authority.

The DHB had no desire to be drawn into these processes which have not been straightforward. There was added complexity due to the report remaining in draft form because of the agreement reached with the previous Board. We have incurred significant external legal costs in relation to recent proceedings and issues concerning Dr Murray, in addition to the use of significant internal resources and staff time. These costs would have been considerably higher if the case went to hearing. We would much rather our focus and public funds are committed to the delivery of quality healthcare in our community and it is our intention that the matter is now at an end. The draft report is available here.