Nigel Murray slammed for overspending and 'double life'

Nigel Murray has been slammed by for overspending taxpayers' money.

An inquiry found the former Waikato DHB boss had no right to spend more than $120,000 that went on things like travel and accommodation. More than half of Dr Murray's spending was found to be unjustified.

State Services commissioner Peter Hughes is not happy.

"This is hard-earned taxpayer money, and I think Dr Murray's behaviour is an affront to the taxpayers of New Zealand," he told Newshub.

"They have every right to feel aggrieved."

In 2016 alone, Dr Murray went on four international trips at a cost of more than $30,000 - all four of which were unauthorised. Even when just travelling to Auckland he spent up large, booking a hotel room worth $632 for just one night.

"Taxpayers of New Zealand work hard to pay their taxes and they expect that money, every cent of it, to be spent on health services," says Mr Hughes.

"In this case it was not, and that's not good enough."

The inquiry highlighted a number of mistakes by the DHB, including failing to do a background check on Dr Murray, a failure by former DHB Chair Bob Simcock to oversee his spending, and then the decision to let him resign.

"I'm probably more concerned that they allowed Dr Murray to resign, because in doing that they allowed Dr Murray to walk away," says Mr Hughes.

Mr Simcock hit back on Thursday, saying in a statement he's become a scapegoat for a man who "led a double life in the most extreme fashion, (multiple relationships, in multiple countries with multiple mobile phones)."

Acting Waikato DHB chair Sally Webb is confident it won't happen again.

"In the report, John Ombler says our policies and procedures were correct - they just weren't followed by our chief executive," she says.

Dr Murray has repaid an outstanding amount of $20,000, with a denial of liability.

In a statement through his lawyer, Dr Murray rejected the report, saying it was one-sided, unjust and didn't explore all the issues because he was unable to participate.

The report says Dr Murray declined to be interviewed as part of the inquiry.