Doctors in Canterbury say the Ministry of Health needs to urgently repair its relationship with staff as disagreement continues over the city's emergency department.
Association of Salaried Medical Specialists says the ministry has failed to appreciate the effect of the Christchurch earthquakes on the region's health services.
Its executive director Ian Powell said a senior ministry official denied being told about pressures on the region's emergency department, despite emails showing he was notified.
The ministry launched an enquiry following a complaint about the official's denial, but Mr Powell said it was a whitewash.
"The complaint needs an independent assessment, and that's what has been lacking, and it won't go away until that is done. The damage to the relationship between the ministry and Canterbury DHB (district health board) remain there, with every sign of further deteriorating."
The Ministry of Health has not commented.