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Southern District Health Board's caretaker chief executive has now been given the permanent role.
DHB staff were told this morning that Chris Fleming had been appointed.
Last year, he was seconded from Nelson Marlborough DHB as an interim six-month chief executive.
In an email this morning, commissioner Kathy Grant told staff that Mr Fleming was the strongest candidate.
"We have also had the benefit of seeing Chris over the past months become immediately effective in the interim role, building on his strong networks and familiarity with the sector.
"We are pleased that this momentum can continue, and have every confidence that with the support of staff and the community, Chris can lead Southern DHB towards becoming stronger, more sustainable and better able to meet the health needs of our communities,'' Mrs Grant's email said.
Senior doctors' union executive director Ian Powell cautiously welcomed the appointment, saying that Mr Fleming was "well intentioned''.
Mr Powell said that his only reservation about the appointment was that coming from a smaller DHB tended to foster a culture of "micro-management''.
However, at Southern DHB, this could be a good thing, because the DHB's "core problems'' resided in management, Mr Powell said.
Last year, Mr Fleming told the Otago Daily Times that he would not apply for the role, but he might be tempted to accept if it was offered.
The CEO appointment was to have been made last month, but was delayed.