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New Act increases industry, Consumer protection

For Immediate Release:
15 April, 2005

New Architects Act increases industry, Consumer protection

The new Registered Architects Act, passed into law by Parliament yesterday, provides both the profession and those using its services a welcomed increase in consumer protection says New Zealand Institute of Architects Inc. president, Gordon Moller.

For the profession’s part, the titles architect and registered architect can only be used by those qualified and registered to use it; pretenders face a fine of up to $10,000, nearly ten times that allowed under previous legislation.

For the consumer’s part, says Moller, there is also now a higher level of protection, ensuring those unqualified to do so can not pass themselves off as architects to an unwitting public and ensuring that those that are registered have met continuing and examinable, practice and quality standards in order to be so.

“It gets rid of confusion and the ability of interlopers to misrepresent and diminish the hard-won reputation of the profession,” he says. Before this law change, anyone could call themselves an architect and get away with it.

All in the profession will now have to seek and be given registration by a newly constructed Registered Architects Board if they wish to be known as architects. And in that respect, says Moller, the criteria bar for ongoing registration will be lifted significantly above the five-years of study and professional practice certification that existed until now.

“Architects will have to demonstrate continuing practice competencies in order to be and stay registered. Life time registration, achieved by dint of paying an annual registration fee, is certainly now a thing of the past.”

The end and most important result though, says Moller, is the level of trust consumers can have when they engage the services of an architect. “They will be able to know the qualification and competencies of the architect have been continuously and independently tested in practice and conform to an acknowledged industry and registerable standard.


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