Engineering New Zealand says concerns about building consents having been improperly signed off affect over 40 councils, with Chief Executive Dr Richard Templer saying supporting councils is “a clear priority”.

This follows recent allegations that one of its members, engineering technologist Jonathan (Jon) Beau Hall, director of Kodiak Consulting Limited, has completed and signed documents using others’ identities and credentials without their permission. The documents include producer statements, which provide assurance to councils that a design meets Building Code and consenting requirements when signed by a Chartered Professional Engineer.

Templer says, “This is a tough time for councils and their communities, and I feel for the many owners who are anxious to know if their properties are impacted.

“I understand over one thousand properties may be impacted by the alleged misappropriations, and it’s extremely disappointing to see allegations of such scale.”

Templer says many engineers have readily taken on “a huge amount of extra work” to help local councils fully understand the implications for owners. “Exactly how a given property is impacted is likely to be specific, so Engineering New Zealand is also working with councils to develop guidance to classify the likelihood and types of risk to impacted properties,” he says.

“Councils are a first port of call for communities and ultimately accountable for their processes – but this is a significant task and complex situation. Our goal is to help councils provide certainty for owners as soon as we can, although it will likely take some time to work things through,” says Templer.

New Zealand has 69 authorities, including councils, that can issue building consents. In recent years Engineering New Zealand has made its producer statements available online. Benefits for engineers and consenting authorities can include quality assurance, consistency and efficiency, secure signing within that system, and real-time updates when changes are made.

Templer says owners with concerns about their properties 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 outstanding notices against them.

“‘Chartered Professional Engineer’ is a protected title and quality mark for engineers who have undergone a competency assessment, and one that councils should be able to trust” says Templer.

“As such, we take the matter of alleged misrepresentation very seriously, and are passing on any relevant information to the Police and relevant authorities,” he says.

See the list of affected councils

Notes to reporters

Further background to this story can be found in our release Consented designs under investigation.

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.

Our searchable database of members and Chartered Professionals Engineers can be found here

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Lachlan McKenzie on 021 479 885.