Members petition for release of review report

March 1, 2021

A member petition for the NZNO board of directors to release the full evaluation of its performance has so far attracted 200 signatories.

One of the organisers, NZNO delegate Allister Dietschin, said a group of active NZNO members, including delegates, were behind the petition to release the full review. “It was initiated late last year by a network of active members who have been concerned about the direction of the organisation for some time,” Dietschin said.

The intent was to lodge the petition with the board or chief executive when it met the required one per cent threshold – about 500 – of verified member signatures. “As a transparent, member-led organisation, we believe every member who wants to see this review, which was paid for by NZNO members’ fees, should be able to access it on the website.”

The board has refused to release the full report but last month released its 33 recommendations (see Board review recommends some radical changes). The petition said the decision to withhold the full review was “unacceptable”.

“NZNO members are the main financial contributors to the organisation and, as such, have a right to ensure the board’s performance meets national and international best-practice standards,” the petition states.

Dietschin said the release of an independent review by former Council of Trade Unions’ president Ross Wilson on NZNO’s contentious 2017/18 district health board negotiations had led to a “much better process” this year. The hope was releasing this review would similarly provide the chance to improve NZNO governance for members, he said.

“The resignation of one chief executive, two presidents, one vice-president and three board members in one year in any other organisation would ring alarm bells that something is amiss,” Dietschin said. “There seems to be no willingness to acknowledge the issues and look at how to improve the organisation, for its members.”