Staying Safe

Many of you will have heard about the tragic serious assault that took place on Hospital Road, opposite the Kidz First public carpark, on Wednesday evening this week. A female member of the public was seriously assaulted and Police have yet to identify and apprehend the attacker. Our thoughts are with the woman involved and her family at this distressing time.

In light of this awful news, I ask you all to please be extra vigilant with your own security around Middlemore, especially after dark. Do not venture near the bushes beside the railway opposite the Kidz First carpark as doing so may pose a danger to your personal security. Walk to your cars in pairs and stay in well lit areas. Also, please help spread these messages to your colleagues, patients and their visitors and make sure we all stay safe.

Finally, if you think you saw anything related to the attack, please don’t hesitate to raise it with the Police or your manager.

On a separate note, earlier this week a Consultation Document for the proposed Planning and Delivery Organisational Design was made available to all staff.  This document is relevant to everyone as it proposes changing the management structure across the organisation. I hope you have had a look at it and I welcome you to come to an all staff forum in the Lecture Theatre at Ko Awatea, from 12 to 1pm on Tuesday of next week (September 20). There I’ll be discussing the document and answering questions to help you get a better understanding of what is proposed. A staff forum will also be held at Manukau SuperClinic with a date and time to be confirmed by group email soon.

What I can say at this stage is that the Consultation Document is the start of an era of change for CMDHB. I just want to acknowledge that while this is an exciting time, change is not always easy. I assure you that we are doing all we can to make this as quick and as smooth a transition as possible. I appreciate your patience and commitment during this process. 

On a personal note, the Welsh Prime Minister Carwyn Jones was recently in town and I had the great honour to be asked to be part of the group that took him onto Orakei Marae. For me it was a great thrill to see the culture of my old country, Wales, mix with the culture of my new country, New Zealand, particularly when the Welsh Prime Minister did a mihi in his native tongue. He also talked about how the experience of revitalising the Welsh language has influenced the renaissance of Te Reo Maaori, demonstrating what we can learn from each other.

The two of us ended up singing a waiata in Welsh – a song called ‘Ar lan y mor’ which translates to ‘By the Seashore’, very appropriate at Orakei Marae. It really was quite an amazing experience to be on Bastion Point, such an historical place, singing a song in Welsh with the Welsh Prime Minister on the eve of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Special stuff.

Which brings me, lastly, to Sunday’s big game. I have to say I’m looking forward to watching Wales play Samoa on Sunday afternoon with a mixture of thrilling anticipation and frank dread. After Wales’ great opening game against South Africa (in which the ball did go over – I was there and I saw it!), this is probably a do or die game for both teams. Good luck to the Samoans – if they win, south Auckland will be a very lonely place for me on Monday morning.

Enjoy your weekend.



Author: Geraint Martin

Geraint Martin was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Counties Manukau DHB in December 2006. It is one of the largest District Health Boards in New Zealand and services a population of half a million. He has significant experience over 30 years in national policy & in managing both primary and secondary care . Previously, he was Director of Health and Social Care Strategy at the Welsh Government .He authored a radical 10 year strategy of reform, including the successful “Saving 1000 lives” Campaign.Until 2004, he was CEO at Kettering General Hospital & had held senior positions in London & Birmingham.He has worked closely with clinicians in improving clinical standards,patient safety,chronic disease management & managing acute care to reduce hospital demand.In NZ, He has promoted clinical quality and leadership as central to improving patientcare. This has led to a significant increases in productivity and access, whilst maintaining financial balance. CMH has completed in 2014 a $500 m capital redevelopment programme, the largest in New Zealand. A central part of this is the establishment of Ko Awatea,the Centre for Innovation and Research which will underpin CMH as one of the the leading health systems in Australasia.In 2008, he chaired the Ministerial Review of Emergency Care in New Zealand, and in 2013 was an member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Health Sector Performance. Geraint has an MSc in Health Policy from Birmingham University .His post-graduate work has focused on health economics and Corporate Strategy . He is adjunct Professor of Healthcare Management at AUT and Victoria University, Wellington Elected in 2006 as a Companion of the Institute of Healthcare Management, previously he was an Associate Fellow at Birmingham University.He is is Chair of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, a member of the Institute of Directors, on the Board of the NZ Institute of Health Management & previously the Board of The NZ Health Quality and Safety Commission.

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