Engineering New Zealand has upheld a complaint that an engineer’s design for an architecturally designed house did not meet the standard reasonably expected from a Chartered Professional Engineer and a Chartered Member of Engineering New Zealand.

There were serious issues with the load paths in the original design and issues with the subsequent amended design. 

The engineer has been censured and order to pay fines and costs totalling $10,000.

The decision says that all engineers need to be aware of the responsibility and liability they bear when signing off designs. This means they must have an appropriate quality assurance process in place. 

The Disciplinary Committee said the investigation did not suggest that there were wider competency concerns regarding the engineer’s practice.

“The respondent’s actions showed a lack of judgement; however, the departure from expected standards is at the lower end of the scale.

“Although we have upheld this complaint, we do not consider that the respondent’s practice poses a risk to the public such that we would need to remove or suspend them. 

“The respondent has accepted their failings in this case and has signalled the lessons they and [their company] have undertaken to prevent this happening again.”

The Disciplinary Committee also said naming the engineer would be “disproportionate and punitive, given that there were no wide-ranging competency concerns nor the need for the engineer to undertake further professional development”.

Engineering New Zealand has a Practice Note that outlines engineers’ obligations when signing producer statements. 

Read Practice Note 1: Guidelines on Producer Statements   |  815.7 KB

Read the Disciplinary Committee decision   |  390.8 KB

Read the Investigating Committee decision   |  309.2 KB