The New Zealand Law Society is investigating a high-profile member who's been spreading misinformation online.
Sue Grey - co-leader of the NZ Outdoors Party and anti-vaccination activist - is reportedly the subject of several complaints to the body, which regulates who and who can't practise law in New Zealand.
Admitted to the bar in 1990, Grey recently fought a losing battle with the High Court on behalf of four aviation security workers who refused to get vaccinated, despite a Government mandate. Her practising certificate was last renewed in July.
She frequently shares misinformation on her social media pages about COVID-19 and the Pfizer vaccine, such as falsely inflating the number of deaths linked to the vaccine, and calling the recent rollout of the vaccine to teenagers "Government-mandated genocide".
She has appeared at recent anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown protests, and in August took part in a two-hour chat with a former Taranaki District Health Board doctor which scientists and vaccination experts said was rife with falsehoods, misunderstandings and conspiracy theories.
Anti-misinformation group FACT Aotearoa lodged a complaint against Grey in October, and another surfaced online on Thursday. Glenn Jeffrey, a former photojournalist, shared an image of a letter he'd received from the Law Society confirming an investigation was underway.
"This letter is to advise that the Standards Committee has resolved of its own motion to investigate general concerns raised around Ms Grey's activities," the letter said. "Further consideration of your individual complaint will be held over until that investigation has been completed."
The letter was marked "private and confidential", but Jeffrey said he "won't be abiding" by that "rubbish".
If the Standards Committee thinks Grey's behaviour has been bad enough, they can refer her to the Lawyers & Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal, which has the power to suspend her or strike her off altogether.
FACT has expressed concern the investigation is into "general concerns", rather than specifically on Grey's activities in the COVID-19 sphere - such as blaming the death of a teenager on the vaccine, despite no evidence to back up the claim. Only a single death has been causally linked to the vaccine in New Zealand, after more than 7 million doses. So far 32 people have died with COVID-19 from 8306 cases.
Newshub has contacted Grey for a response. In a letter to the Law Society in her own defence, Stuff reports she made the 'genocide' comment "in my personal capacity as a political leader", not a lawyer.
The Law Society said it was barred by law from discussing complaints publicly.
A few lawyers are struck off every year, according to a list on the Law Society's website. Last year there were three; the most came in 2014, when 15 lawyers were barred from practising.