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Position of Health NZ Chair untenable

Position of Health NZ Chair untenable

Highly political comments by Rob Campbell — who is Chair of both Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand and the Environmental Protection Agency —  make his continued employment as one of the Government’s most senior public servants untenable, says the Taxpayers’ Union. The Union has written to the Public Service Commissioner asking him to investigate Mr Campbell for what appears to be a serious and clear breach of the The Standards of Integrity and Conduct applicable to civil servants.

Over the weekend, Mr Campbell published a news report about Christpher Luxon’s alternative model to the Government’s controversial Three Waters policy and commented:

I was so amused by this that I thought it needed to stand alone. Leaving the solution to the major issues we can all see to the very bodies that have failed to avert the issues can only evince [sic] a John McEnroe “You cannot be serious!” cry.
What on earth would make anyone think this was a sensible idea for debit raising alone, let alone the managment [sic] and delivery of the tasks. Geographic and social inequities deepening while the infrastructure rots.
Ican[sic] only think that this is a thin disguise for the dog whistle on “co-governance”. Christopher Luxon might be able to rescue his party from stupidity on climate change but rescuing this from a well he has dug himself might be harder.

The post can still be viewed at: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7035415822630088704/
(Screenshots are also available on request)

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams said:

“For one of New Zealand’s most senior bureaucrats to publish a diatribe attaching the Leader of the Opposition and suggest his opposition to co-governance is a ‘dog whistle’ is the most serious departure of public sector neutrality I have ever seen.”
“The political attack, and inclusion of inflammatory language, shows a worrying lack of judgement from someone who is supposed to be looking after the reputation of the public sector organisations he leads.”
“No matter your view on Three Waters, every New Zealander should be concerned with such a flagrant disregard to the long held rule that our civil service is to be, and seen to be, neutral.”
“This is one of those rare instances where it appears untenable for the individual to continue in his role.  To protect the integrity of Health New Zealand and the Environmental Protection Agency, Mr Campbell has no option but to resign.” 

"If Mr Campbell can't see the error in his ways, and if the ethical standards applicable to the civil service mean anything, he should be sacked."

 The Code of Conduct for Crown Entity Board Members issued by the Public Service Commissioner states:

 “We act in a politically impartial manner. Irrespective of our political interests, we conduct ourselves in a way that enables us to act effectively under current and future governments. We do not make political statements or engage in political activity in relation to the functions of the Crown entity.”

 The Code of Conduct for Crown Entity Board Members goes on to say:

“When acting in our private capacity, we avoid any political activity that could jeopardise our ability to perform our role or which could erode the public’s trust in the entity. We discuss with the Chair any proposal to make political comment or to undertake any significant political activity.”

Showing 1 reaction

  • Nztu Media
    published this page in News 2023-02-27 13:29:47 +1300

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