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Former Fraser Health CEO under investigation in New Zealand

Nigel Murray billed new employer tens of thousands for move from B.C.
Former Fraser Health CEO Nigel Murray left B.C. in 2014 for a new job in New Zealand. Photo courtesy New Zealand Herald.

The former CEO of Fraser Health is under investigation for alleged unauthorized expense claims filed in his new job in New Zealand.

Dr. Nigel Murray left Fraser Health in 2014 after seven years, during which the health region’s budget climbed by nearly 50 per cent, triggering an extensive review by Fraser Health.

Murray cited family reasons to return to New Zealand, upon leaving in June 2014. At the time, he was said to be “in the running” for a similar job in his homeland. Murray was making $444,000 a year when he left, but because he resigned, he was not owed any severance. The current CEO, Michael Marchbank, made $390,089 last year.

In July 2014, Murray took up a new job, which paid him about $525,000 a year, with the Waikato District Health Board based in Hamilton, New Zealand.

The New Zealand Herald reported last December that Murray had not filed annual expenses for his first two years in the new gig. When they were disclosed in January, they showed Murray has claimed more than $100,000 in travel expenses, including $36,000 to relocate from the Fraser Valley to New Zealand’s North Island.

Read the New Zealand Herald story here.

The Herald reported around $10,000 of that cost came because Murray left Fraser Health “earlier than expected.” The story says Murray reimbursed some of the money, but it’s not clear how much.

Now, after a special board meeting, an investigation is set to look into two years of spending by Murray on his credit card, according to the Herald.

When he was at Fraser Health, Murray claimed $140,000 in expenses over an 18 month span in 2008 and 2009, with officials citing demand for his service at conferences around the world. In July of 2009, citing a worsening economy, Murray pledged to reduce travel costs as part of a broad need to cut costs.