SDHB racks up $656K in staff payouts

The Southern District Health Board's highest individual termination or personal grievance payment last financial year was $75,000.

A second employee was paid $74,000, information released under the Official Information Act reveals.

These payments were among 25 made to employees in 2017-18, totalling $656,000, compared with 15 payments made totalling $697,961 the previous year.

In that year the highest payment was $408,000 and the second highest $178,000. At the time the $408,000 payment became public, to allay conjecture the payment was to former chief executive Carole Heatly, the board advised it was to a departing clinician.

Seventeen of the 25 payments made last year were $10,000 or above, compared with seven the previous year.

In both years the lowest payment was $1000.

The individual payment amounts were released after an Official Information Act request as, unlike previous years, the board did not include this amount of detail in its annual report.

Board chief executive Chris Fleming, asked about the lack of detail, said reporting requirements changed from time to time and the board had not reviewed the background to why the information was previously reported with the amounts.

"It may have been a previous requirement, or the result of historic practice and interpretation.

"We have now reviewed our report to ensure alignment with the Crown Entities Act and the Audit NZ model set of accounts to utilise our and the auditor's resources in the manner expected of us."

A perusal of other DHB annual reports shows while some follow Southern's practice, others are still providing the individual amounts.


Why does any employee of the DHB recieve a payout when they leave on their own accord and surely if there was any sort of grievence then it should be sorted out through the courts just as people who are on low incomes must do to recieve gratification? It appears to be a rort by those that are the highest paid in the country. It must be remembered at all times that they are being paid with tax payers money, not government money as the government does not earn any remuneration.