Charge Detail Summary

File Number: Nur23/587P
Practitioner: Debra Green
Hearing Start Date:

Hearing End Date:

Hearing Town/City:
Hearing Location:
Charge Characteristics:

Behaviour inappropriate

Acknowledgement of colleagues - inadequate/inappropriate

Communication inadequate/inappropriate


Additional Orders:

Name Suppression to Practitioner

Order for interim suppression of the name and identifying details of the practitioner

No application for permanent suppression was made by the practitioner


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

Order for interim suppression of the name and identifying details of the complainant

Permanent Order for suppression of the name and identifying details of the complainant


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

Permanent Order for suppression of the names and identifying details of 2 witnesses and 6 complainants


Appeal Order:


Full Decision 1372Nur23587P.pdf

Appeal Decision:

Precis of Decision:


On 13 December 2023, the Health Practitioner’s Disciplinary Tribunal (the Tribunal) heard a charge of professional misconduct laid by the Professional Conduct Committee appointed by the Nursing Council of New Zealand against Ms Debra Elizabeth Green, a registered nurse of Christchurch (the Nurse).


The charge alleged that the Nurse


  1. On or about 20 or 21 November 2021, in her role as a registered nurse, participated in a video interview with Chantelle Baker, where the Nurse communicated inappropriate rhetoric related to COVID-19 vaccine injuries and/or made comments which were disparaging of other health professionals.


The alleged conduct amounts to professional misconduct under section 100(1)(a) and/or (b) of the Act and either separately or cumulatively, are particulars of that professional misconduct.


There are two particulars of the charge which set out specific instances of the charge.  In respect of these particulars the PCC relied on the full context of the video recording that was played at the hearing.


The Nurse accepted that she exaggerated her concerns and that she appeared animated in the interview.




The Nurse has been registered as a nurse since 7 August 2002.


From 2013 until 19 November 2021, the Nurse had been working as a pool nurse member at Christchurch Hospital (DHB).  On 11 October 2021 the Government announced that workers in the health and disability sector would be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the close of 1 January 2022 and must receive their first vaccination before the close of 15 November 2021 (Mandate Notice).


The Nurse was sent a letter of 8 November 2021 confirming that the DHB’s records showed she had not yet been vaccinated.  On 15 November 2021 the Nurse received notice of termination of her employment as she had chosen not to be vaccinated.  If she did not comply with the Mandate Notice, the DHB was required to stand her down effective from 11.59pm on 15 November 2021.  The letter confirmed the DHB’s understanding of the reasons for the Nurse’s decision:


  • She did not believe the vaccine was safe or effective;
  • She considered the vaccine to be experimental and she had seen friends and family suffer after the vaccination;
  • She did not believe the Order was legal, that it was discriminatory and breached her rights.


The Nurse’s employment was terminated on Friday 19 November 2021.  The following day the Nurse attended the Freedom March in Christchurch to protest against the New Zealand Government’s COVID-19 vaccination and mandate policies.  The Nurse wore her nursing uniform to the protest.  She was approached by Ms Chantelle Baker for an interview.  A segment of the interview was posted on Ms Baker’s Facebook page.  This segment formed the basis of the charge by the PCC which was laid before the Tribunal on 22 May 2023.




The Tribunal found Particular 1 established and amounted to malpractice and conduct that has brought discredit to the profession.  The statements were designed to have a persuasive and impressionable effect but lacked sincerity and meaningful content.  They were misleading.   The nurse was representing herself as an ED nurse when she was not.  She was a nurse in the casual pool and not a full time ED nurse.  The comments were also disparaging of her colleagues. 


Particular 2 was established as malpractice and conduct that has brought discredit to the profession.  The Tribunal was particularly concerned about the concluding statement that “You don’t go to ED unless something is seriously wrong”.  It is highly misleading and gives the wrong message to a vulnerable population.


The Tribunal was satisfied that the conduct was deliberate and highly unethical and warranted a disciplinary sanction.





The Tribunal ordered:


  • Censure
  • Suspension of registration for 3 months
  • Conditions to apply on recommencement of registration
  • 30% of the costs of and incidental to the hearing fixed at $18,000


The Tribunal directed publication of the decision and a summary.