27 July, 2013

Election time again

I like working with public organisations where I can bring my governance skills to bear on the important matters.  What are those skills?  Well, I think the key to being good at governance is being able to take a helicopter view of the issues and to ask the right questions to draw out how well the organisation is meeting its obligations, how well it is adhering to its strategic goals and, very importantly, how well it is reviewing its own performance.

This year I am submitting my nomination to be elected to the Waitemata District Health Board.  You may well ask why anyone would want to be elected to a district health board.  Most of us when casting our votes peer at the list and maybe pick out someone whose name is familiar.  While we are doing this we wonder what it is that those who are elected think they can do that might have an impact on the delivery of health services.  We might also wonder how membership of such a board could be in the least bit interesting.

I think that these questions are an indicator of why I am a good candidate and why I would be a good representative.

Firstly, I bring no personal agenda to the boardroom table, I have an interest in governance and seeing that governance is undertaken in an ethical framework and is focussed on the organisation's strategic goals and measured against the targets set by the organisation.  This is the essence of good governance.  This means that my influence on the delivery of health services is based on working with the rest of the board to continue to review the performance of the organisation alongside those goals.  If the goals are set appropriately to lift the performance of health delivery services then good governance ensures that this focus is maintained.

As to how such a board might be the least bit interesting, I guess that this illustrates how I see good governance as being important to the health (excuse the pun) of the organisation.

I have spent the last three decades engaged in governance.  Much of this has been with school boards of trustees, not only being a member of several boards over those years, but also being currently engaged in delivering professional development to boards as a consultant specialising in governance.

I have spent many years as a member of the governance boards that have guided the development of the Museum of Transport & Technology (Motat) since 1963.  Today, following six years as a board member I am now a member of the board's property development committee.

Closer to public organisations I spent three years as a member of the Audit & Finance Committee of the previous Rodney District Council.  This was a subcommittee of Council that had the responsibility to ensure that the organisation was performing in accordance with its financial obligations.

Even more relevant to the Waitemata District Health Board, I have since 2008 been the board chair of the North Shore Hospital Foundation.  The Foundation has been supportive of the North Shore Hospital for over ten years working with philanthropic supporters to deliver services and facilities to staff and to patients and their families over and above what is able to be achieved by the district health board from its budget.

The skills that have been developed from these engagements over many years and a very clear focus on understanding  governance and working for the good of the organisation is a key reason for voting for me to be one of your representatives on the Waitemata District Health Board.