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Consents referred to engineering authority

Hon Maurice Williamson

Minister for Building and Construction 

27 February 2014       Media Statement

Consents referred to engineering authority

Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson today announced the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand has agreed to review the adequacy of engineering design work done for four Christchurch buildings.

Following issues with Christchurch City Council’s consenting processes arising last year, engineers raised with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment concerns about the design and safety of seven buildings.

A review by MBIE Chief Engineer Mike Stannard has found in all seven cases the council consenting process reasonably relied on the expertise of the consent applicants’ engineers when issuing consents.

“In four cases however, potential issues with the quality of design work provided by those engineers during the consenting process were identified.

“The Ministry has then asked IPENZ, acting as the Registration Authority for Chartered Professional Engineers, to investigate whether the engineers involved in these cases adequately exercised their professional obligations,” Mr Williamson says.

It is now investigating under its disciplinary enquiry processes whether any engineers concerned performed engineering services in a negligent or incompetent manner or breached the relevant code of ethical conduct.

All affected engineers have been informed.  If any disciplinary action is taken, the parties involved would be named and penalties stated on the Registration Authority website.

“The review is a reminder to the engineering profession that buildings need to be designed to meet Building Code requirements, and the council consenting process does not absolve the engineer involved of that responsibility.

“It’s also important to stress that none of these four buildings pose any current safety risks, as they have been repaired or demolished,” Mr Williamson says.

ENDS

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