Dual roles 'no lead to merger'

Last updated 05:00 18/12/2013

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Murray Cleverley says his new dual role as chairman of both the South Canterbury and Canterbury district health boards will not lead toward a merger.

"I'm strong that this doesn't mean a merger and the minister has been strong about that," Cleverley said yesterday.

Health Minister Tony Ryall has appointed Cleverley as chairman of the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), in place of Bruce Matheson.

Cleverley was also reappointed as the chairman of the South Canterbury District Health Board (SCDHB), a role he has had since November 2009.

He was confident the dual appointment would work well for both DHBs and was unfazed by the extra workload. "Like any good management, as long as you have good people around you, you're fine."

The SCDHB has 800 staff and a budget of $170 million, while the CDHB, the second largest in the country, has 10,000 staff and a budget of $1.4 billion.

In the last financial year Mr Cleverley received $32,000 as chairman of the SCDHB and $12,500 as a committee member.

The CDHB chairman's role paid $52,000 in the last financial year.

Cleverley, a professional director, part-time farmer and part-time Cera employee, has scaled back his workload outside the health sector so he can dedicate more time to his dual role.

"It's just managing my time. . ."

Both DHBs will get equal attention, starting with a chat to both chief executives on a daily basis, he said.

Cleverley said he was looking forward to the challenges ahead, which he believed would result in good things for both DHBs.

He said that was likely to include problem solving - looking at what works well for one DHB if the other was having issues in a particular area.

"I think often, if a DHB is having an issue or problem they look inside themselves to fix that problem.

"We [SCDHB] look to them [CDHB] a lot for support, but I actually believe SC has a lot to offer Canterbury as well."

One aspect that would always remain was the aim for improvements. "I knew it [the dual role] was going to be a challenge, an exciting challenge," he said when first appointed to chair the CDHB.

"Really, I saw that this was a fantastic opportunity for having two health boards, two very good health boards, working closely together to get some positive synergies.

"I don't think I've been daunted by the opportunity, more looking forward to the opportunity."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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