Three former CERA employees stood down

The damaged Christchurch cathedral (File)
The damaged Christchurch cathedral (File)

The chairman to the boards of the Canterbury and South Canterbury DHBs has been stood down after he allegedly took part in private business dealings while holding positions as a public servant.

An investigation has been launched by the States Service Commission after allegations that a number of former employees from Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Agency (CERA) used their position to benefit their personal business interests.

"These allegations are very concerning and if established would be a serious breach of the standards of integrity expected in the public service."

The men involved no longer work for the disestablished CERA organisation; however, all have been stood down from their current roles.

Murray Cleverly, the chair for South and Canterbury DHB, has been stood down, with Health Minister Jonathan Coleman appointing temporary chairs while the investigation is carried out.

Mr Cleverly has been relieved as one of the former of employees of CERA. He was the manager of CERA and then for the Greater Christchurch Investment Strategy until 2015.

Two others who worked for CERA - Gerard Gallagher and Simon Nikoloff - have also been stood down from their new employer, Otakaro, who released a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

"Otakaro Limited is taking this matter seriously and two employees have been stood down while the State Services Commission conducts its investigation," it says.

Sir Mark Solomon and Ron Luxton will take over as acting chairs for the Canterbury DHB and South Canterbury DHB, respectfully, until the inquiry is completed.