Waikato DHB apologises to House of Shem family

By Leah Te Whata
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

The Waikato DHB has issued an apology to the family of reggae stalwart Carl Perkins following a disagreement at the Waikato Hospital where his wife Denise Perkins wasn't allowed to stay overnight with him prior to an operation.

Waikato DHB's Interim CEO Derek Wright says, “All I can do is apologise.  We will look into this and make sure this never happens again".

A Facebook status posted by Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has racked up more than 2.8 thousand reactions, it states that Mrs Perkins was kicked out of the hospital and alleged that racism was at play.

However, the Waikato DHB CEO says they didn't kick the woman out, but rather asked her to relocate to the whānau room for the night.

"She was asked to leave the room and we had created an area in the lounge for her to stay overnight.  We do appreciate that she wanted to be there for her husband.  She wanted to provide his personal cares and that's what he wanted as well".

Wright says that the hospital is bursting at the seams and they required Mr Perkins to be moved from a single room to a four-bay room with three other patients, which is why Mrs Perkins was asked to move.

"It's much harder to whānau staying overnight if you’re in a four-bedded room.  Although it sounds as though we could have handled this quite differently," says Wright.

Te Kāea has been in contact with a member of the Perkins family.  They are unable to appear on camera at this time with the priority being supporting Mr Perkins as he undergoes surgery.