Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Engineers regulation to be strengthened

Hon Dr Nick Smith

Minister for Building and Construction

4 September 2014 Media Statement

Engineers regulation to be strengthened

The regulation of engineers is to be strengthened to ensure they have the right knowledge, skills and competence to design safe buildings and to hold them more accountable for substandard work, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.

“We need to improve the occupational regulation of engineers involved in the design and construction of buildings and to increase the consequences for those found to be incompetent,” Dr Smith says.

The reforms build on the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Canterbury earthquakes and involve significant changes to the Building Act and Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Act.

“It will be a legal requirement that significant engineering structures like multi-storey buildings are designed and certified by an appropriately skilled Chartered Professional Engineer. This mandatory registration of professional engineers will cover structural, geotechnical and fire engineering. This will fix the anomaly that a person designing a simple residential home must be licensed but a complex multi-storey commercial building can technically be designed by anybody,” Dr Smith says.

“We are going to tighten and improve the disciplinary processes for engineers. An engineer will not be able to resign to avoid scrutiny and accountability. The process for dealing with serious misconduct will be referred to an independent body at arm’s length from the engineers’ professional body IPENZ. We are also going to broaden the range of sanctions and penalties and increase the maximum professional fines from $5000 to $20,000.

“A new legal obligation will require engineers to notify building consent authorities of serious building code breaches. This will override any commercial or perceived obligations to clients and ensure public safety is paramount. We do not want a repeat of the CTV building where deficiencies were identified in 1990 but not reported to the appropriate authority.

“We are going to improve standards of engineering by putting more rigour into the competence standards for engineers. The registration authority will also be required to publish more detailed information about engineers’ areas of competence. There will also be new powers for the Minister to initiate performance audits.

“These proposals are part of the Government’s broader response to the Canterbury earthquakes. We have made significant increases in our investment in engineering training. We are systematically reviewing the buildings with potential non-ductile columns. We are progressing legislative reform around earthquake-prone buildings. We are confident this programme of reform will make New Zealand safer and more resilient for when the next earthquake strikes.

“We welcome public input on these proposals for reforming the regulation of engineers. Engineers have played an important role in New Zealand’s development over the past century, but as society becomes more sophisticated, we become more dependent on reliable, well-designed engineering systems. This work is about laying the foundation for improved competency and standards of engineering into the future,” Dr Smith concluded.

Consultation papers are available at www.dbh.govt.nz/occupational-regulation-of-engineers. Submissions close on 31 October.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news