Engineering New Zealand has welcomed the Government’s proposal to introduce licensing for safety-critical engineering work but has questions about its proposal to certify general competence.

Engineering New Zealand Chief Executive Susan Freeman-Greene says everyone wants a regulatory system that keeps New Zealanders safe and holds engineers to account when necessary, and change is definitely needed.

“We support the concept of licensing for safety-critical engineering work, because this will give assurance that engineers can perform specific, safety-critical work like designing high-rise buildings. 

“We think it’s important that the licensing system can eventually extend into all areas of safety-critical engineering work; for example, heavy vehicles and water.”

As well as licensing, the Government has proposed a voluntary statutory certification scheme to provide assurance of an engineer’s professionalism and general competence.

“We believe government regulation should be restricted to areas of public safety, like the licensing proposal. We think the responsibility for general competence and professionalism should sit with the profession, rather than the government.

“Statutory certification of general competence would duplicate Engineering New Zealand’s Chartered Member assessment process, which is a voluntary professional recognition and competence scheme that’s internationally benchmarked.

“We know people find the current system confusing. Adding statutory certification as well as licensing would create a more confusing system, which is in no one’s interests.”

Notes to reporters

Engineering New Zealand is New Zealand's professional body for engineers, with 23,000 members. We represent – and regulate – our members. We also act as the Registration Authority for Chartered Professional Engineers. Previously known as IPENZ, on 1 October 2017 we introduced a new, more inclusive membership pathway and changed our name to better reflect what we do.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Amanda Wells on 021 479 885