Charge Detail Summary

File Number: Den17/387D
Practitioner: Peter Liston

Hearing Start Date:

Hearing End Date:



Hearing Town/City: Whanganui

Hearing Location:

Seddon Room, Collegiate Motor Inn, 122 Liverpool Street, Whanganui, commencing at 9.00 am

Executive Officer: Ms Gay Fraser (04) 381 6816

Charge Characteristics:

Treatment - care inadequate/inappropriate (Established)

Referral - inadequate

Informed consent - inadequate

Communication inadequate/inappropriate


Additional Orders:

Name Suppression to Complainant and/or Patient and/or client

Patient granted interim suppression of name and identifying features


Name Suppression to Practitioner

Practitioner granted interim suppression of name and identifying features


Name Suppression to Complainant and/or Patient and/or client

The patient did not seek permanent name suppression.


Name Suppression to Practitioner

The practitioner did not seek permanent name suppression.


Appeal Order:


Full Decision 940Den17387D.pdf

Appeal Decision:

Penalty Decision

The Practitioner has appealed the penalty decision to the High Court.

The High Court dismissed the appeal.  Liston v Director of Proceedings [2018] NZHC 2981

Precis of Decision:


The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal considered a charge of professional misconduct laid by the Director of Proceedings against Dr Peter Liston of New Plymouth, registered dental practitioner practising as an oral maxillofacial surgeon (the Practitioner).

The charge constituted seven particulars each referring to a particular consulation or combination of consultations the Practitioner had with his patient where it was alleged the Practitioner did not act correctly on excisional biopsy results of the patient's tongue undertaken during the period December 2011 to November 2013.  The charge further alleged the Practitioner failed to recommend or provide treatment appropriate to these results.

Particulars 6 and 7 of the charge alleged a failure by the Practitioner to keep clear, detailed and accurate clinical notes and clear and detailed operation notes.

The Tribunal was advised at the commencement of the hearing that the Practitioner admitted particulars 1, 2, 3 and 5 of the charge as separately constituting misconduct warranting disciplinary sanction and particulars 5 and 6 cumulatively as misconduct warranting disciplinary sanction.  On that basis the Director of Proceedings withdrew particular 4 and the Tribunal did not consider that further.


The Tribunal found that each of the particulars 1, 2, 3 and 5 separately together with particulars 6 and 7 cumulatively amount to negligence, malpractice and conduct which has brought discredit to the dental profession and as such warrants disciplinary sanction.


The Tribunal censured the Practitioner and ordered him to pay a fine of $5,000, together with costs of and incidental to the costs of the Tribunal and Director of Proceedings amounting to $21,000.

Given the evidence that arose during the hearing relating to pressures and stresses together with limited resourses available to the Practitioner who pracitses between New Plymouth and Whanganui, the Tribunal made a recommendation to the Whanganui District Health Board that it put in place such resources and facilities as it can to enable the Practitioner to have active engagement in clinical audit and review processes with a surgical group in the DHB.  It also recommended that the DHB provide the Practitioner with such non-patient contact time as can reasonably be provided so that he may actively review patient records, reports and test results to ensure appropriate patient treatment and management; and that this be done within  normal working hours and occur in the hospital precinct.

The Tribunal directed publication of its decision and a summary.

The Practitioner has appealed the Tribunal's penalty decision to the High Court.  The High Court has dismissed the appeal Liston v Director of Proceedings [2018] NZHC 2981.