NEWS HR

The Hon David Cunliffe has been appointed as Chair of The Selwyn Foundation Board of Trustees.

A Canterbury doctor who indecently assaulted patients has been struck off the register, nearly two years after being convicted. Rakesh​ Kumar Chawdhry, 64,​ was jailed for four years, four months in 2018, after he was found guilty of 13 charges of indecent assault and one of sexual violation against patients. He assaulted 10 male patients, aged between 17 and 35, in clinics in Amberley and Riccarton from 2012 to 2015. Chawdhry​ only served a third of his sentence and has been on parole since July 2019. Chawdhry​ lost his doctor’s registration in November, after a hearing before the New Zealand Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal. The tribunal released its decision on Thursday. “These offences were gross breaches of trust and were repeated with Dr Chawdhry’s​ patients over a sustained period of offending,” the decision said. “These convictions and the nature of the offending undoubtedly reflect adversely on Dr Chawdhry’s​ fitness to practise as a medical practitioner.” The report said there was a “significant power imbalance”, where Chawdhry​ took advantage of his position and his victims lack of knowledge of the examination. Only one victim understood Chawdhry​ was doing something wrong at the time. Although Chawdhry​ continued to deny there was any sexual motivation in the offending, he accepted he caused “immense harm” to his victims, the report said. “He attributes this to his own self-image and the power imbalance in the doctor-patient relationship, and he accepts that his behaviour was wrong. “He admits he failed to adequately upskill himself as to New Zealand clinical practice.” The tribunal found cancellation and censure were necessary sanctions to mark its condemnation of Dr Chawdhry’s​ conduct and the gravity of the offending, the report said. Chawdhry​ indicated he had no intention of reapplying for registration, but if he changed his mind would have to take a sexual misconduct assessment test at his own cost. He had to pay 30 per cent of the tribunal costs, which amounted to just over $10,500.

Lik Loh, a GP who spent his formative years working in a free clinic, is South Canterbury’s new primary care chief medical officer.

A mother reported her own daughter to authorities after she became suspicious of her sudden luxurious lifestyle. The bizarre story began in January 2018 when former model and fashion designer to the stars Emily Evans-Schreiber, was asked to look after her elderly grandmother Rosina Evans. The woman, aged in her 90s, had been diagnosed with dementia, and Evans-Schreiber moved into a house nearby to help out. At the time Evans-Schreiber – who was previously a fashion designer for Cara and Poppy Delevingne – was broke with just £40 ($A75) in her bank after recently losing her job. But between April and December that year, Evans-Schreiber made 42 transactions from her grandmother’s bank account into her own after the older woman authorised a mandate allowing her granddaughter to take over her finances. Soon the socialite and mother-of-one began jetting off on holidays across the globe, including to Los Angeles, and splurging on fancy hotels, designer outfits and cosmetic treatments. Evans-Schreiber’s mother Clare grew “concerned” by the sudden change in her lifestyle and reported her to police who found a slew of transactions going into the woman’s account under labels such as “bills”, “care”, and “savings”. They also uncovered a number of “luxury products” such as designer clothing, shoes and accessories. Authorities found Evans-Schreiber had stolen a total of £230,251 ($A434,805) from her grandmother, leaving her with just £5516 ($A10,416). Evans-Schreiber faced Northampton Crown Court last week where she pleaded guilty to one count of theft. In the end, the judge gave her a two-year sentence, suspended for 20 months. Evans-Schreiber must also complete 150 hours of community service and attend an alcohol rehab program for six months.

A Rotorua retirement village resident has died in hospital after being hit by a car last week. Emergency services were called to Hilda St in Fenton Park on Wednesday about 1.50pm. One patient was taken to Rotorua Hospital and died the following morning. The person was a resident of Glenbrae Village Resthome and Hospital, which is owned by Arvida. Police are investigating and the rest home “will conduct an investigation once the initial grieving process is over,” Arvida group spokesman Tristan Saunders said. The victim, who lived in a serviced apartment, died with family at their bedside, Saunders said. He said “the vehicle wasn’t going fast, but the resident was hit and injured” on the afternoon of January 8. “It’s a tragic event. We are very sad to have lost one of our residents.” He said Arvida chief executive Bill McDonald visited the facility on Monday to express his condolences.

A female paramedic has been taken to hospital after being kicked unconscious by a burglar breaking into a St John ambulance station north of Auckland. The woman had just returned alone to the Warkworth ambulance station on Brown Rd at about 11.30pm last night after finishing treating a patient. St John director of operations Norma Lane said the intruder then attacked her and kicked her unconscious. “The paramedic was able to signal for St John Clinical Communications and police support before being rendered unconscious,” Lane said. She was taken to North Shore hospital in a moderate condition before being discharged this morning. “This is a despicable and unacceptable act on our colleague,” Lane said.

Ngāi Tahu Holdings board member and former Tainui Group Holdings Chief Executive Mike Pohio (Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Pikiao) has been appointed Chief Executive of Ngāi Tahu Holdings. Ngāi Tahu Holdings chair Mark Tume made the announcement today. Pohio will stand down as a Ngāi Tahu Holdings board member and start in the chief executive role on 6 January 2020. Pohio’s appointment comes after Ngāi Tahu Holdings’ chief executive of seven years, Mike Sang, announced in August that he was stepping down. Sang will step back from the role but remain with the company until 20 March 2020 to support a smooth handover. Ngāi Tahu is a major investor in Ryman Healthcare.

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.