29 May 2019
Engineering New Zealand is currently engaged in four key areas of work with government over and beyond considering our response to proposed changes to the Building Act (which include the occupational regulation of engineers).
Infrastructure Commission Bill
Engineering New Zealand made a written submission to the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission/Te Waihanga Bill highlighting the need to build resilience in as an outcome. We asked that local government be more explicitly included in the Bill as a significant infrastructure provider. We followed up with an oral submission to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. This was well received by the Committee and is covered in detail in this media report. We want to see a ‘hands on’ Commission able to provide practical advice and support throughout the life-cycle of infrastructure. We are also advocating to Government that engineers should be appointed to the Commission so that it has the required expertise.
Technology and the Future of Work Inquiry
The Productivity Commission have released an Issues Paper as the first stage in their new inquiry into technological change and the future of work. This is an important issue to the engineering profession who are at the forefront of these changes. The inquiry will include a series of reports for feedback later this year, with a final report to Government by 31 March 2020. Engineering New Zealand is preparing a submission and we encourage our members to make individual responses to the Commission.
Earthquake Commission Inquiry
Engineering New Zealand has made a submission to the public inquiry into the work of the EQC headed by Dame Silvia Cartwright. The inquiry will investigate and report on the lessons that can be learned from the application of EQC’s operational practices and approaches to claims in relation to the Canterbury earthquake events and subsequent events. Our submission focused on the importance of getting the immediate response right, engineer’s contribution to the GCCRS, and what the learnings through that process.
Proposed Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill
This Bill is open for public consultation until 16 July. Its main provisions are to set a new greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and a series of emissions budgets. It will require the Government to develop and implement policies for climate change adaptation and mitigation. Last it will establish a new, independent Climate Change Commission to provide expert advice and monitoring. The Bill has different targets for biogenic methane than other greenhouse gases which is consistent with our initial submission to the Discussion document in 2018. We will be consulting with members of our response to the Bill. We will be advocating for engineers to be on the Climate Change Commission, just as we did for the Interim Climate Change Committee which is chaired by Dr David Prentice FEngNZ and includes Dr Keith Turner DistFEngNZ.