Peter is a health law specialist. He has spent 20 years in medico-legal roles, including 11 years as the medico-legal counsel for Auckland District Health Board. He joined Claro in November 2012.
Pete’s interest in health law was sparked by a period working for the ACC Medical Misadventure Unit in the mid 1990’s. That interest developed during a 3 year stint managing medical negligence claims for the Medical Defence Union in the UK. While in the UK, Pete completed a Masters in Dispute Prevention and Resolution at the University of Westminster, then joined ADHB in 2001.
Pete has advised on a wide range of policy, practice and legal compliance issues in the health sector. His practice extends across health law with a focus on risk management, medico-legal and privacy issues, including duty of care, consent to treatment and information systems. He advises on professional registration and employment matters, as well as organisational governance, statutory compliance and health sector contracting. His practice includes incident management and responding to complaints to regulatory authorities including the Health and Disability Commissioner, Privacy Commissioner and Ombudsmen. Pete appears in Courts at all levels, including seeking treatment orders for children in the High Court, attending Coroner’s Inquests or defending practitioners in the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.
Pete has extensive experience in mental health and public health. He has been involved in resolution of employment, commercial and practice governance disputes. He chaired the Auckland region DHB’s Privacy Advisory Group and sat on the Auckland Regional Public Health Service HIV Advisory Group.
Pete says “My passion is problem solving, in the creative and empowering sense of the term. Healthcare is complex and personal. Mapping legal strategies and solutions requires technical legal clarity together with sensitivity, practicality and insight. When it comes to legal advice in health the “how” can be as important as the “what”.”
Pete’s experience includes
- Representing healthcare providers before courts at all levels.
- Obtaining treatment orders for children and incompetent adults (e.g., DHB v Dee  NZHC 304).
- Defending Waitemata DHB’s Smoke-free Environments policy in a judicial review in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court (B v Waitemata DHB  NZSC).
- Routinely advising on application of the Official Information Act, Privacy Act, Public Records Act, and other legislation relevant to information sharing in the health sector, and managing associate complaint processes.
- Chaired the Auckland region DHBS’ Privacy Advisory Group which guides the region’s DHBs on electronic information systems, information sharing and information security. This included negotiation and resolution of concerns about information sharing systems raised by stakeholders in the region.
- Managing responses to complaints and investigations by the Health and Disability Commissioner, Privacy Commissioner, and Ombudsmen.
- Advice to various DHBs on strategic and specific information management issues such as child protection and family violence information sharing structures.
- Advising the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) on a range of regulatory issues, including liquor licensing and smoke-free environments.
- A member of the ARPHS HIV Advisory Group managing individuals potentially posing a risk to the public.
- Defending healthcare providers in civil claims for damages.
- Appearing in health practitioner disciplinary proceedings and appeals (e.g., Y v Director of Proceedings  NZHC 2054).
- Advising on the management of health practitioner competence and disability concerns under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act.
- Representing a large primary care provider in an employment dispute and associated mediation.
- Representing ACC in treatment injury appeals (e.g., P v ACC  NZACC 142).
- Extensive involvement in Auckland DHB’s management of the retention of organs in the Green Lane Heart Registry including the crisis response and policy rewrite.
- Representing health sector providers in negotiations with the Electricity Commission and electricity retailers on how to manage patients with electricity dependent medical equipment.
- Advising on statutory compliance such as certification processes and conscientious objections policies under the Contraception Sterilisation and Abortion Act.
- Assisting GP practice partners to resolve disputes with a departing colleague over company shareholding, capitation and clinical practice matters.
- Advising a DHB on contractual and public law obligations arising out of a locum cover dispute.
- Defending a habeas corpus application (N v Bupa Care Services (New Zealand) Limited  NZHC499; AN v Bupa Care Services (New Zealand) Limited  NZSC 49).
- Advising Auckland DHB on obligations and strategy in response to poorly performing providers funded by the DHB, including implementation of interventions.
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