Derek WrightInterim Chief Executive for Waikato DHB appointed

I’m pleased to announce that Derek Wright has been appointed to the post of Interim Chief Executive for the DHB with immediate effect.

As you know, Derek is currently our Executive Director of Mental Health and Addiction Services. He replaces Dr Nigel Murray who resigned on 5 October.

The Board has observed Derek’s successful leadership of our mental health services over the last couple of years and in particular how well he has worked with our clinical leaders which will be critical for us going forward. The Board was unanimous in their endorsement of Derek for this role.

I believe our DHB can be a high performing one, and we are already doing a lot of really good work that can often be overshadowed. The Board expects the interim chief executive to play an active role in shaping the DHB’s future. This is not a caretaker role and Derek has the Board’s support to make any changes needed to ensure we are delivering high quality services to the people of the Waikato and improving the health of our population.

I’d like to thank Chief of Staff Neville Hablous for acting in the role during difficult times, until an interim chief executive could be appointed. Neville indicated he did not want the interim role but I look forward to continue to work with him at the DHB.

Recruitment of the permanent chief executive will start immediately and I’m keen that staff are really involved in the process. We want to take our time to make a good appointment and want to talk to staff about what qualities they want to see in their new chief executive.

Vicki Aitken who is currently Director Adult Mental Health & Addiction services will act into the role of Executive Director, Mental Health and Addiction Services while Derek is in the interim chief executive role.

Bob Simcock, Chair, Waikato DHB