Ryall puts Queenstown man on health board

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Health Minister Tony Ryall has today announced the appointment of Queenstown’s Tony Hill to the Southern District Health Board.

Hill unsuccessfully stood for SDHB in the October elections but narrowly missed out.

After Hill’s loss as the only Wakatipu candidate, his friend Sir Eion Edgar, the prominent Queenstown investor and philanthropist, went public and called for the Government to appoint Hill – and that’s what’s happened.

Hill is among four members appointed by Ryall to the 11-person SDHB board.

Speaking to Mountain Scene shortly after today’s announcement, Hill says he’s “absolutely delighted and thrilled to be considered for the role”.

“On the board you have to focus on the whole operation of the DHB but I’ll definitely have a focus on ensuring that the Lakes District Hospital site is developed sooner rather than later,” Hill says.

“It’s probably one of the things that’s frustrated me over the past six months,” he adds.

It appears likely Hill will have to resign from the LDH ‘review committee’ – a ginger group set up by the National Health Board to prod SDHB on progressing an NHB action plan to accelerate Wakatipu healthcare.