Charge Detail Summary

File Number: Nur14/285D
Practitioner: Craig Darren Kurth
Hearing Start Date:

Hearing End Date:

Hearing Town/City:
Hearing Location:
Charge Characteristics:

Professional boundaries breached   (Established)

Response – 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 Complainant and/or Patient and/or client

Patient granted permanent suppression of name and identifying features


Appeal Order:


Full Decision 651Nur14285D.pdf

Appeal Decision:

Precis of Decision:

On 10 July 2014 the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal considered a charge laid by the Director of Proceedings against Mr Craig Kurth (the Nurse), registered nurse formerly of Napier.

The charge alleged that the Nurse failed to set or maintain appropriate professional boundaries with a former patient and that the Nurse failed to seek appropriate assistance when he received a text message from a former patient indicating she was suicidal.


The Nurse did not attend the hearing or provide any information to the Tribuanl and the hearing proceeded on a formal proof basis.

The Nurse started the relationship with the patient when she was discharged from an inpatient mental health unit.  He sent her a large number of texts over the next month, met her socially and went away for a weekend camping.  There was no evidence of a sexual relationship but the Tribunal found that there was some physical contact.

When the Nurse received the text message from the patient indicating she was suicidal, the Nurse took no steps to seek assistance for the patient or ensure her safety during this time.

The Tribunal was satisfied that the charge was established and the conduct required disciplinary sanction.  The Tribunal noted that the Nurse's failure to call emergency services or advise any nurse on duty at the mental health units, when it was clear the patient was distressed and he knew she was still in treatment, was a failure on his professional obligation as a nurse.  The Tribunal said that "unfortunately, his personal relationship with the patient compromised his objectivity and professional judgment that evening.  This a stark reminder of the reason for the professional boundaries set for nurses and all health professionals".


The Tribunal censured the Nurse, cancelled his registration and imposed conditions should he seek re-registration in the future.  The Nurse was ordered to pay a total sum of $14,225.85 as a contribution of costs of the Tribunal and the PCC.

The Tribunal directed publication of its decision and a summary.