NEWS HR

Chapman Tripp has announced the appointment of three new partners in its Auckland and Christchurch offices, effective December 1, subject to meeting Law Society requirements. Chapman Tripp chief executive partner (Hoa Rangapū Whakarae) Nick Wells said the trio, “all have a long-standing length of service at the firm and bring in-depth knowledge and expertise to their fields, as well as contemporary outlooks on the growing sectors they specialise in.” In the Auckland office, Lauren Curtayne becomes a corporate and commercial partner and Tessa Baker is a new property and real estate partner. In the Christchurch office, Nick Letham will be a corporate and commercial partner. Nick Letham, corporate and commercial, has been with the firm for 12 years after starting as a law clerk in 2007. Letham will continue to specialise in retirement village and aged care and the agribusiness sectors.

The manager of Dunedin’s Women’s Refuge has resigned after investigations revealed a raft of serious issues. But the centre will be allowed to keep its government accreditation, albeit under close scrutiny, the Ministry of Social Development has confirmed. Issues at Te Whare Pounamu Dunedin Women’s Refuge became public earlier this year after investigations found it fell short of three Social Sector Accreditation standards. Women’s Refuge New Zealand chief executive Dr Ang Jury said an independent assessment essentially highlighted the same issues as other investigations, primarily workplace culture and some people “being a little bit loose with donations” of things like food and clothing. She confirmed the centre’s manager had resigned.

An Oamaru retirement village remains closed to visitors after a mystery bug swept through the facility last week. Observatory Village Lifecare, in Stoke St, was put into lockdown last Wednesday after the first cases of the yet-to-be-determined virus were reported the previous day. Symptoms among the unconfirmed number of residents and staff who had been affected included vomiting and diarrhoea. Specimens had been sent away for testing but Observatory Village Lifecare general manager Rosie Dwyer said the nature of the bug was yet to be determined. It was hoped the facility would open to the public by the weekend at the latest.

Two people have been injured after a car hit a house on Hennessy Place in a retirement village in the Christchurch suburb of Spreydon a short time ago. Emergency services were called to the scene just before 6.30pm, Fire and Emergency NZ South Island communications shift manager Lyn Crosson said.

A Kiwi doctor who sexually assaulted multiple patients in Australia said he’d never faced a complaint before his arrest. But Dr Sharif Fattah, 63, had been the subject of three complaints in New Zealand before he moved to Australia and offended against his patients between September 2016 and March 2017. He was found guilty by a Sydney Court in May this year on counts of sexual intercourse without consent and indecent assault involving 10 female patients. Following his arrest in Australia questions were asked about previous charges he had faced. The Judge’s sentencing notes reveal Dr Fattah told the court-appointed psychologist that he had ‘’never been the subject of a complaint’’. But following an investigation, it was revealed Dr Fattah had faced three complaints in New Zealand: one which led to him being reminded of his workplace chaperoning policy when examining female patients, one which was investigated but not upheld, and a third that was upheld. Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill said he was ‘’extremely concerned’’ about the behaviour of Dr Fattah. His office found he’d breached a patient’s rights during an intimate examination. The HDC found that it was more likely than not that Dr Fattah touched the patient’s genitals and inserted his finger or fingers inside her during an abdominal examination. Dr Fattah denied there had been any internal examination. The HDC laid a charge of professional misconduct which was then investigated by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, but it was not upheld due to insufficient evidence. The Tribunal noted it was ‘’not a case necessarily of saying that the doctor’s version was preferred over that of the patient’’. It recommended Dr Fattah take advice and courses to improve his communication with patients. Conditions were placed on Dr Fattah while the investigation was carried out, but these were lifted in December 2014. He gained registration to work in Australia a year later. The NZ Medical Council said Dr Fattah would have had to make certain disclosures about his disciplinary history when applying to work in Australia, but it is unclear whether he did.

An elderly man who allegedly killed his 79-year-old flatmate appeared in court on Monday (Sept 2) via videolink from the Central Police Division. Pak Kian Huat, alias Pek Kiah Huat, 82, was charged with murdering Madam Lim Soi Moy in a Housing Board flat on the 21st storey of Block 191 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh. Police had received a call about the case at around 3.40am on Sunday and officers found Madam Lim motionless in the unit. She was later pronounced dead by paramedics.

A doctor who sexually assaulted multiple patients at a Sydney healthcare centre was investigated over an intimate examination of a female patient in New Zealand, it can now be revealed. Dr Sharif Fattah spent 20 years practising in New Zealand, working in public hospitals and health centres as a GP, before moving to Australia in 2015. He was arrested in 2017 after three patients from a practice in the Sydney suburb of Camden went to police. More women came forward following his arrest, and by the time Dr Fattah went on trial he faced 30 charges of sexual assault and indecent assault involving 16 women. A Sydney court was told Dr Fattah, 63, had performed medically unnecessary examinations on the women, aged 19-40, for his own sexual gratification. Dr Fattah denied all charges, calling the allegations untrue and “absolutely wrong”. He was found guilty in May this year of 18 charges involving 10 female patients and has been sentenced to 16 years and 6 months imprisonment. His lawyer has indicated Dr Fattah will appeal. It can now be revealed that Dr Fattah moved to Australia and offended against his patients after being investigated by the Health and Disability Commissioner in New Zealand, and subsequently faced a charge of professional misconduct by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

Elderly patients at an Auckland rest home were evacuated overnight after a fire broke out on its second floor. Emergency services were called to Everil Orr Retirement Village in Mount Albert, and 20 residents were moved outside. No one was taken to hospital and the cause of the fire is unknown.