Whitianga Medical Centre (2)
Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 1:08PM
Bill Barclay

We had a demonstration of outright petulance this morning when Fox objected to Goudie and Wells raising issues around the legal agreement , and the prospects for the Centre, given its isolation from support services - all legitimate issues that met with the Fox retort "If I need your advice, I will ask for it!" - tut, tut.

Goudie correctly objected to being asked to approve an 'off the budget' proposal in the absence of any busines case, or resolution for the Annual Plan from the Board - ironically the same as applied to the Dry Court document after Monday's abortive 'meeting.' And Wells justifiably objected to the absence of written legal advice. Staff Solicitor Paul Davies's 'brush-off' of the only question relating to 'fish-hooks' hardly constituted legal advice.

All in all, it was a most unsatisfactory discussion with Leach on the defensive, and complete obfuscation of the real issues surrounding the Agreement. Davies claimed that Hopper's defence provisions were "normal" - I would dispute that - they are completely one-sided in my view, and he was not even asked about the legality of the $250,000 funding-exchange 'legal construction,' and resulting attempt to seek registration of the Council as a charity. Well, we will see on that score - the Commissioner may not be so sanguine.

On the other hand, he considered the clause requiring the return of the complete site (and assets) to Waterways in the event of failure to commence operation within the five year period to be a completely 'normal' vendor protection in the circumstances - bollocks to that say I!

The Whitianga councilors and Board Chair were quite satisfied that all the demand side requirements had been met, but legitimate questions remain regarding support back-up, and the attraction of Whitianga as a 'remote' practice.

They also assured the meeting that both the doctors and the public were fully in support of the move, and expenditure of their $250,000 of 'preliminaries.' They also could see no problems with establishing the over-sight Trust. The risk factors appear to have been discounted.

They did concede (or at least the Chaiman conceded) that it would have been infinitely better had the Board approved the document before it came to the Council, but he assured Wells and Goudie that it would certainly pass without difficulty next week.

There is still a little water to pass under this bridge on this one - one thng I do now know is that Davies deeply resents having his professional advice questioned in any way - I got the veritable 'cold-shoulder' this morning.




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