$7000pw fees and expenses

The commissioner regime is costing the Southern District Health Board more than $7000 in fees and expenses every week, an Official Information Act request shows.

Between November 17 and May 17, the commissioner team incurred $159,600 daily fees and $25,405 for travel, accommodation and food.

As commissioner, Kathy Grant receives the biggest daily fee, $1400, and over six months she charged for 55.5 days, a total of $77,700.

Mrs Grant's annual pay is capped at $180,000.

Mrs Grant also incurred $8615 for expenses. Her biggest single expense was flights ($4487).

The biggest expenses bill was incurred by deputy commissioner Angela Pitchford, the only member of the team not based in Dunedin.

The Christchurch clinician claimed $9272 in expenses, but, of the team, charged the lowest number of days (18).

Deputy commissioners Richard Thomson and Graham Crombie charged 32.5 and 40.5 days respectively.

Deputy commissioners receive $900 a day as charged.

The cash-strapped board must stump up for the cost of the commissioner team, but it is offset by no longer having an elected health board.

The former board, which had 11 members (seven elected and four appointees), cost $345,000 in fees in 2013-14; that figure did not include expenses.

The board members were sacked because of the DHB's deficit.

eileen.goodwin@odt.co.nz

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