Christchurch's long standing medical Officer of health has been temporarily reinstated to his role after challenging his dismissal in the Employment Court.
Alistair Humphrey was a medical officer of health in Christchurch from 2000 until he was dismissed for incompatibility in October 2020.
Humphrey is challenging his dismissal before the Employment Court, and also sought interim reinstatement until a decision on his substantive claim.
The Employment Court has now granted Humphrey interim reinstatement to his former role and directed both parties to attend urgent mediation.
The complaints about Humphrey were raised with the Canterbury District Health Board in November 2019 when a number of clinicians from the DHB wrote to then chief executive about public statements made by Humphrey and working relationship issues.
The Employment Court's decision, released today, said that one staff member had said they would leave if Humphrey was reinstated, and others have said they would consider their options.
However, the decision noted that one of the colleagues who had particular difficulties engaging with Humphrey had left the organisation.
In her judgement, chief Judge Christina Inglis said on the untested evidence currently before the Court there was a clearly arguable case for permanent reinstatement.
She also said Humphrey had expressed a willingness to constructively move forward, which she said lent weight to the prospect of a successful reintegration.
Humphrey said he was delighted at the decision and looking forward to going back to work with his colleagues.
He expected to be back in his former role promptly, he said.
A spokesperson for the Canterbury DHB declined to comment.