29 Jun 2023
Engineering New Zealand has become aware of concerns a member has been completing and signing documents using the identities of various Chartered Professional Engineers without their permission.
The member, who is not a Chartered Professional Engineer, is now under investigation.
Chief Executive Dr Richard Templer says, “‘Chartered Professional Engineer’ is a protected title and quality mark reserved for engineers who have committed to and been assessed for a given level of competency.
“We are committed to upholding that quality mark and take matters of alleged misrepresentation very seriously.”
The documents in question include producer statements, which are used to give councils assurance that new designs will be or have been constructed to meet the Building Code and consent requirements when signed by a Chartered Professional Engineer.
Templer says concerns relate to designs in the Central North Island, Bay of Plenty and Waikato, but may not be limited to designs in these regions.
“We have referred the matter to the Police and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and we are passing on any information to assist their investigations.”
Engineering New Zealand is now working with councils and engineers to determine the best way forward for all relevant stakeholders.
“We are fully aware affected councils will want to provide owners in their communities with certainty about impacted designs as quickly as possible,” says Templer.
Notes to reporters
Engineering New Zealand is New Zealand's professional body for engineers, with some 22,000 members. We represent – and regulate – our members. We also act as the Registration Authority for Chartered Professional Engineers.
Engineering New Zealand’s website has a public search to check whether members and Chartered Professional Engineers have any outstanding notices. You can find this at Find an engineer (engineeringnz.org) and confidentially get in touch with Engineering New Zealand’s complaints team at email@example.com for further guidance.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Lachlan McKenzie on 021 479 885.
Questions and answers
Has the member been signing documents that councils have consented?
Yes, and we have been in contact with relevant councils to let them know of the concerns raised with us.
When was Engineering New Zealand made aware of these concerns?
Concerns were raised with us on 20 May. We have responded by reporting the matter to Police shortly after becoming aware of the seriousness of the alleged conduct, as well as contacting councils and government to ensure the public are safe.
Do you know how many and what kind of buildings have been consented?
We don’t know the extent of the alleged conduct and the matter is now under investigation. Any information we receive is being passed onto the Police and relevant councils.
Do you know where any consented designs might be located?
We understand concerns have been raised about designs in the Central North Island, Bay of Plenty and Waikato, but may not be limited to designs in these regions. Any information we receive is being passed onto the Police, relevant councils and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
What are Producer Statements and how are they used?
Producer statements give authorities like councils confidence that building work will be or has been constructed to meet Building Code and approved consent requirements. Many councils only accept producer statements signed by a Chartered Professional Engineer.
Have councils not done due diligence?
Councils are accountable for their consenting processes but these allegations are concerned with serious misrepresentation. Engineering New Zealand’s interest is that Chartered Professional Engineers are trusted engineering professionals, and councils should be able to accept CPEng as a quality mark.
What should I do if I have concerns about my building?
Anyone with concerns about their building should contact their local council first. Additionally, Engineering New Zealand’s website has a public search to check whether members and Chartered Professional Engineers have any outstanding notices. You can find this at Find an engineer and confidentially get in touch with Engineering New Zealand’s complaints team at firstname.lastname@example.org for further guidance.