Charge Detail Summary

File Number: Nur21/506P
Practitioner: Nicholas John Walker
Hearing Start Date:

Hearing End Date:

Hearing Town/City:
Hearing Location:
Charge Characteristics:

Authority - Lied/misled (Established)

Additional Orders:

Name Suppression to Practitioner

Order for interim name suppression for the practitioner 

No application for permanent suppression was made


1204Nur21506P.pdf1246Nur21506 Addendum.pdf

Name Suppression to Witness/s and/or Family of parties

Order for interim name suppression for the witness, client and the client's  family members

Order for permanent name suppression for the client and the client's family members



Other Suppression Orders

Order for permanent suppression of the name of the practitioner's former partner

1246Nur21506 Addendum.pdf

Appeal Order:


Full Decision 1246Nur21506P.pdf

Appeal Decision:

Precis of Decision:

On 13-14 December 2021, the Health Practitioner’s Disciplinary Tribunal (the Tribunal) heard a charge of professional misconduct laid by the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) appointed by the Nursing Council of New Zealand (the Council) against Mr Nicholas Walker, a registered nurse of Auckland (the Nurse).




The PCC alleged that the Nurse was dishonest and/or misled previous PCC investigators and the Tribunal in that he withheld information that was relevant to the investigation and hearing of a prior charge brought by the Council in October 2015 (the 2015 hearing).


The PCC alleges that, viewed separately or cumulatively, the conduct amounts to professional misconduct under s.100(1)(a) and/or 100(1)(b) of the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act 2003 (the Act).


The Charge is set out in full at [36] of the full decision.


The Nurse accepted the charge and that it amounted to professional misconduct.




The Nurse trained in the United Kingdom and graduated with a Diploma in Mental Health Nursing in 1998. Between December 2011 and March 2014, he was employed by a mental health and addictions service (the Service) based in Hamilton. He worked as a drug and alcohol mental health nurse.


The person (client) who later became a focus of misconduct allegations against the Nurse was already a client at the Service when the Nurse started working there. He suffered from substance abuse issues and displayed a range of behavioural issues including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The Nurse first began caring for the client in 2012.


By August 2013, the Service had formed concerns that the Nurse may have become over-involved in the care of the client. On 8 August 2013 the Nurse was directed to have no further contact with the client. An employment investigation later revealed that the Nurse remained in contact with the client beyond this point. The Nurse resigned from his role at the Service in March 2014.


The Council was notified of the Nurse breaching professional boundaries by the Service on 21 March 2014. The matter was referred to a PCC for investigation. The Nurse provided a statement for this investigation which stated that the client “…has never been to my home, nor have I ever given him alcohol…”. This was untrue. During the hearing, the Nurse also allowed his lawyer and a witness to make statements regarding his conduct which he knew to be false. He made no attempt to correct these statements.


During a later investigation, the PCC obtained a copy of a fraudulent carer support claim form from the Ministry of Health which allowed the Nurse to facilitate the client staying overnight at his house on several occasions in 2012.




The Tribunal found the charge against the Nurse established, and the conduct to be deserving of disciplinary sanction.


The Tribunal found this case to be particularly serious for several reasons. The Nurse’s conduct demonstrated a pattern of dishonesty and fraudulent conduct to cover up his breach of professional boundaries with a vulnerable client. This misconduct was particularly egregious due to its sustained nature throughout the prolonged investigative process. The extent of the dishonesty only came to light when the PCC independently discovered fraudulent documents during a different investigation.




The Tribunal ordered:


  • Censure;
  • Cancellation of registration, not to apply within two years
  • Payment of 35% of the Tribunal’s hearing and the PCC’s investigation totalling $37,000.


The Tribunal directed publication of the decision and a summary.