A doctor's union says the Crown put the boss of Canterbury DHB in an impossible position.
David Meates announced his resignation today at an emergency board meeting - after more than 11 years on the job.
He's also been West Coast DHB's CEO since 2010.
But Association of Salaried Medical Specialists director Sarah Dalton told Heather du Plessis-Allan the leadership team has been struggling with a hostile Crown Monitor.
"All of the DHBs are currently being put under substantial pressure to try and break even budgets.
"We don't think that is a realistic proposition currently."
She says there is a difference between their debt and operating surplus.
"The bulk of the debt that Canterbury carry is entirely related to the earthquake rebuilds.
"They are actually running a current operating surplus."