Big workload for new board chief

Last updated 05:00 21/02/2014
Murray Cleverley
DHB CHAIR: Murray Cleverley.

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Canterbury's new health board chairman works four and a half days a week as head of investment strategy for the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU).

Murray Cleverley was last year appointed as chairman of the Canterbury District Health Board by Health Minister Tony Ryall.

At the time of his appointment, The Press reported he was a director, part-time farmer and part-time Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) employee.

A Cera spokeswoman yesterday confirmed Cleverley's role as general manager of greater Christchurch investment strategy for the CCDU.

He works four and a half days a week, she said, and is among the officials hosting a series of recovery roadshows in the main centres across the country.

Cleverley is also the chairman of the South Canterbury DHB.

Cleverley told The Press yesterday he had "realigned" his commitments since taking his latest role and was lucky to have "always been a multi-tasker".

"Being born with five sisters has allowed me to learn some skills of our fairer sex," he said.

The two health board jobs "complemented each other" and the role with Cera was short-term, and came about "once in a century".

"Does it put some pressure on? Yes. Do I have to be organised and plan my day? Yes. Do I have fantastic people around me and have a supportive and fantastic wife when I'm working 80 hours a week? Yes."

A CDHB spokeswoman said the board chairman was not a fulltime employee and was therefore not required to take annual leave. Cleverley would not miss any board meetings as a result of the roadshows, she said.

Ryall said it was not unusual for chairmen to have employment outside their roles, and Cleverley had assured him his employment would not interfere with his ability to chair SCDHB or CDHB.

Speaking about several anchor projects at the roadshow, Cleverley said the Government wanted the innovation precinct to be "a mini Silicon Valley" and told presentation attendees that a big multi-national company would soon sign up to be part of the precinct. Cera was unable to confirm this yesterday.

Information about the proposed innovation precinct - bordered by Lichfield, Madras, St Asaph and Manchester streets - has been sparse since the recovery blueprint was released in mid-2012.

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment is leading the project and a spokeswoman yesterday said it was continuing to work towards the "public release of the spatial framework and the innovation precinct strategy".

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In July last year, The Press reported the CCDU was encouraging landowners in the precinct to propose building designs for the area and the ministry had contracted consortium, headed by Australasian firm Architectus, to carry out precinct planning work.

A CCDU spokeswoman said "various private parties are close to finalising their plans" for the precinct.

"We expect that some private interests will be making their plans public in the near future but any timeframes for that would not be for us to determine."

- The Press

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