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Proposed Architects Bill defeats any good purpose

New Zealand Institute of Architects
For Immediate Release
23 April, 2004

Proposed Architects Bill defeats any good purpose

A Bill currently before Parliament threatens to compromise the recognised skill level demanded of Architects and the Architectural profession, diminish if not negate the level of protection consumers currently enjoy with the profession and provide open-slather to the use of the title Architect for anyone who chooses to use it.

New Zealand Institute of Architects president, Gordon Moller says that the basis of a good opportunity to further lift industry standards and afford greater consumer protection has been completely missed in a Government Administration Committee’s process of considering the new Architects Bill.

“Instead of giving strength to the professional use of the title Architect, this Committee has
seen fit for it to be seen as a generic term able to be used by anyone no matter how unqualified or remotely connected with the industry or profession.”

As it now reads, the Bill would rename appropriately qualified architects as registered architects, leaving open the opportunity for any else to adopt the generic architect title.

Moller said for that years his Institute has worked to ensure widespread public knowledge and understanding that when the title architect was used it applied only to those trained and fully qualified in the full range of aspects of the discipline and who meet only the highest standards of professional conduct.

“Under this proposed legislation, the distinctions between architects and non-architects will become increasingly blurred and allow any person to call themselves an architect. A designer may call themselves a licensed architect for example – and where are the professional standards, let alone any measure of consumer protection in that”?

Moller says it appears the Committee has been distracted by semantics, rather than focusing on the real issue of professional standards and consumer protection.

“As a result we have a piece of proposed legislation that holds threat rather than protection, for all concerned.”

ENDS

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