Meetings of the Board and its three statutory committees are open to the public. Members of the public may seek to speak on a particular matter, and can participate in the three public forums the Board holds each year.
All meetings of the Board and its three statutory committees* are open to the public. All Board and statutory committee order papers and minutes are available publicly. These can be accessed from the DHB’s website. They are also available at the Board meeting.
*Statutory committees are the Community & Public Health Advisory Committee and the Disability Support Advisory Committee which operate jointly as the Healthy Communities Advisory Committee, and the Hospital Advisory Committee which operates as the Quality & Excellence Advisory Committee.
Meetings of the Board and Committees are run in accordance with the Board’s Standing Orders
Please be aware Board/Committee meetings are not a meeting between the Board and the public. As such while you can witness the deliberations you are not able to contribute to the discussions, nor will the Board or Committee members address the public directly.
You are under no obligation to attend for a whole meeting. You can leave at any time. If you wish to leave, or return to, the meeting, it would be appreciated if this could be done quietly and with minimal disruption.
To enable meetings to proceed smoothly, it would be appreciated if noise is kept to a minimum at all times, and cell phones are turned off.
There will be occasions when there is a requirement on the Board/Committee to maintain confidentiality in relation to an item to be discussed. There are several reasons for this including a requirement to protect people's privacy, to protect information relating to the commercial position of others, to protect information which is subject to an obligation of confidence, and so on.
Under legislation, the Board/Committee can pass a resolution to exclude the public while it discusses specific issues. The items to be discussed in confidence will be signalled in the agenda under the heading "resolution to exclude the public" . All members of the public are required to leave the meeting while these discussions take place. If it is not immediately obvious to you when this point has been reached, the board/committee secretary will let you know personally.
For the convenience of the public these items are generally discussed at the end of an agenda.
The public may request the opportunity to speak to the Board or a Committee regarding any matter within its terms of reference. To do this, please contact the board/committee secretary prior to the start of the meeting.
Generally, 2-3 minutes will be allocated to you. Where a group wishes to address the Board/Committee, one spokesperson is required.
After your address, members may seek clarification of the point(s) you raise. They will not enter into a discussion on the matter.
Privacy and natural justice requirements must be respected.
Public comment regarding the treatment and care provided to you or other individuals will not be allowed. This is for two reasons - privacy issue, and, that it is more appropriate these discussions are held with the health care professionals concerned.
Note that speaking at meetings is not a forum to request information from the Board or DHB staff. For such requests, call 06 350 8967.
Arranging a Time to Speak
If you want to speak to the Board or Committee, contact the Board or Committee Secretary on 06 350 8967.
When you call, please be ready to tell the Board or Committee Secretary:
- Your name and contact details
- The organisation you will represent, if any
- The subject you wish to talk about
Some points about Public Participation
You need to advise Board/Committee Secretary of your wish to speak at a meeting prior to the start of the meeting. If possible, let them know by 12 noon the day before the meeting.
The number of public participants who can speak at each meeting is limited. When there are a large number of requests to speak, the Chair of the meeting will determine who will speak.
Each public participant will have between two and three minutes to speak, depending on the number of participants on the day.
You can bring along written material supporting your position. Please ensure that enough copies are available for all members by asking Board Committee Secretary how many copies to bring.
You can obtain copies of agendas at least two days before the meeting from our website.
DHB meetings are quite formal, so please understand and follow these basic rules:
- When you arrive, you will be greeted by an adviser from DHB who will show you where to sit.
- If you have brought along written material, please give it to the adviser to distribute.
When it is your turn to speak the Chair will introduce you formally to the Board/Committee Members.
It is important not to interrupt Board/Committee members when they are speaking and not to speak until requested by the Chair.
The Board holds three public forums a year, one in each of the following districts: Tararua, Horowhenua and Palmerston North/Manawatu. These are open to the public.
Any person can speak at a public forum on any health and disability issue. Questions regarding the treatment and care to specific individuals will not be answered in the forum because of associated privacy issues. Also, it is more appropriate that health professionals providing that care, comment.
Generally, each person is given between 2-5 minutes to speak.
Guidelines are available for public forums and these are contained with the Board’s Standing Orders.
Deputations may be made to the Board with the prior consent of the Chair.
Applications to make a deputation must be lodged in writing with the Principal Administration Officer (Board Secretary) at least 11 calendar days before the date of the meeting.
Applications must set out the substance of the deputation. Generally, the deputation is given between 5-10 minutes to address the Board.
Guidelines are available for deputations and these are contained with the Board’s Standing Orders.
From time to time MidCentral DHB formally consults on specific issues.
A formal training and development programme is undertaken each year to ensure members keep up-to-date with developments within the sector.
New Board members receive a comprehensive orientation to the public health sector, and to MidCentral District Health Board.
A conflict of interest register is maintained, and all existing and potential conflicts are managed.
A meeting calendar for the Board and its committees is established each year. Meetings of the Board are held in outlying areas within the district, and four open forums are held for the public each year.
The Board engages both an internal and external auditor to ensure its systems and processes are robust. A strong risk management approach is taken, and this is led through the Board’s Finance, Risk & Audit Committee.
A work programme is in place for each committee and the Board. This is closely linked to the Annual Plan.
The governance of a District Health Board is a diverse and complex undertaking, and the board has established four committees so that it can carry out its responsibilities effectively. It also undertakes regular self and collective assessments of performance so that it can continually improve its systems.
The balance of skills and experience of the board is kept under regular review. Additional knowledge and expertise has been recruited to assist with the governance of the Hospital, Funding, and Enable NZ Divisions and disability issues. These external appointments are made by the Board.
Similarly, public comment regarding the performance of specific staff members will not be allowed and members of the public are asked to contact the CEO on such matters.
The Chair has the right to drawn an individual's comments to a close if those comments are inappropriate or do not relate to the Board's/Committee's terms of reference.