Nigel Murray is now a member of a very “special family” of dedicated health professionals at Waikato District Health Board (DHB), board chair Bob Simcock told more than 100 guests at a welcoming powhiri at Te Wananga o Aotearoa Mangakotukutuku Campus in Glenview, Hamilton for the DHB’s new chief executive today.
“It is a real pleasure to welcome Nigel to our place,” said Mr Simcock.
“Nigel has returned to the Waikato after a number of years away and it is good to have him back and he brings his skills back to help us to achieve all of the things that we need to achieve in our organisation.
“We have had a period of construction, disorientation and reorganisation. This represents to us a change point from where we can start to look at the other things we can focus on.”
Mr Simcock acknowledged and thanked the recently departed chief executive Craig Climo for leaving the organisation in good hands.
Dr Murray (59) said the powhiri was a special occasion and one he wished he had been able to share with his father, a retired cardiologist living in Walton, who was unable to attend. “You have given me a feeling of strength from the welcome and this will be important and will be in my blood for the time I am here.”
Dr Murray said he had a wonderful feeling about being back in Waikato.
“I am tremendously excited about the opportunities at this DHB. I want to acknowledge all of those who have gone before me as chief executives and the wonderful things they have done.
“This now gives me an opportunity to build on with a sense of partnership not just with the all-important hospital and campuses that surround us but with the communities. The partnership we can have will only strengthen what we can do with each taxpayer dollar.”
“My commitment is to strengthen this partnership and minimise the inequalities that exist for Maori.”
Waikato DHB board member and cardiologist, Clyde Wade who was unable to make the powhiri, said he was looking forward to working with Dr Murray.
“He brings with him a huge experience in health and we need that. Nigel will have a perspective that will be helpful as we move from the completion of the buildings into our new phase of working in the buildings,” said Dr Wade
The DHB’s building programme director, Ian Wolstencroft has worked with Dr Murray in the past on the Auckland DHB building programme.
“He’s a straight talker and will be very loyal to the organisation and to what we are doing and where we are going,” said Mr Wolstencroft.
“His approach is that he will listen and give opinions. The way he will do things will be in concert with the board.”
Chief operating officer Jan Adams welcomed Dr Murray on behalf of all staff.
“We have come through a very difficult 10 years with the building programme in terms of lots of throughput and activity and living and working in a building site,” said Mrs Adams.
“We are now looking forward to a period of stability and his vision and his plans for taking us forward.”
Dr Murray has a clear idea of what lies ahead for him. Mr Simcock commissioned a report from the Ministry of Health which was published on the DHB’s website last month.
The document called ‘Review of opportunities for the incoming chief executive” noted that a $500 million 10-year building project was now at an end and that the challenges ahead lay in how to work in the new buildings to deliver the best possible care to patients and the communities the DHB serves.
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