Labour MP Maryan Street yesterday criticised the nomination of Timaru dentist Mark Goodhew for a top medical body post.
Ms Street had earlier slammed Mr Goodhew for putting his name forward, saying his involvement was a conflict of interest because Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew is his wife.
However, Mr Goodhew withdrew his nomination as chairman of the Health Regulatory Authorities of New Zealand (HRANZ) before it went to a vote.
HRANZ is a combined board with representatives from individual health regulators.
Mr Goodhew was approached to run for chairman, but withdrew after discovering occupational therapist Jane Hopkirk, whom he thought would be perfect for the role, was also in the running.
It was announced yesterday afternoon that she had been appointed.
However, Ms Street had said Mrs Goodhew's position "absolutely disqualifies" her husband from standing for election.
It went further than cronyism and bordered on corruption, she said.
"I think Ms Street wants me to divorce Jo or not put myself forward for these roles," Mr Goodhew said.
Mr Goodhew has an extensive background in the medical field, which has included a range of governance roles.
He said he did not believe there was a conflict of interest in his applying for chairman of HRANZ and he was disappointed and angry that Ms Street had made the comments.
"I really do not like being accused of cronyism or corrupt practise. It's got the potential to damage my reputation, my practice and colleagues.
"We all like to think that the doctor or dentist we come to is competent and fit to practise.
"She just needs to be very careful about flinging wild accusations like that, about people doing roles that are necessary."
Mr Goodhew said, as of last week, there had been no nominations put forward for the role and he was asked by chairs of other health regulatory bodies to consider the position.
He said his relationship to Jo was no secret and on occasions he had stood down from some discussions due to it being a conflict of interest.
"I've done everything to mitigate the risk of having a conflict of interest. If Ms Street had called me and said 'I've got some concerns', I would have been happy to give her all this background [and CV], but she's never [contacted me]."
If she had the grace to apologise he would be happy to hear from her, he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News