2 May 2018
Engineering New Zealand regularly meets with Government Minister and officials to help shape the policy agenda. These meetings offer an engineering perspective on key issues to decision makers.
Meeting with Building and Construction Minister Jenny Salesa
Engineering New Zealand Deputy President Ben Holland and Chief Executive Susan Freeman-Greene had a wide-ranging conversation with Mrs Salesa. We heard about the priority she is placing on developing and growing the construction workforce, and officials commented that we were a model of good practice for professional regulation in the construction industry.
We discussed the introduction of occupational licensing for safety-critical engineering work, including the progress that Engineering New Zealand is making in collaboration with our technical groups in assessment against a Body of Knowledge and Skills. We are focusing first on structural (with SESOC) and fire engineering (with the Society for Fire Protection Engineers). We are also looking at BOKS for dams and amusement devices. There may be a change in legislation and/or regulations further down the line to support our preferred approach, and we are exploring options further with officials at MBIE. The Minister would like us to keep her updated, and asked for a follow up meeting in a few months.
Mrs Salesa has agreed to host the launch of our thought-leadership publication Engineering A Better New Zealand at Parliament buildings on 16 August. As part of this project, engineers and other key stakeholders are looking at how we can increase seismic, water and climate change resilience. We will keep you updated in Discover.
Meeting with Climate Change Minister James Shaw
Our second Ministerial meeting was with James Shaw, who holds the Climate Change portfolio. Engineering New Zealand Board Member Sue-Ellen Fenelon and Chief Executive Susan Freeman-Greene talked about our thought leadership work, including ideas to support the transition to fully renewable electricity and a zero carbon economy. We are pleased the Government has appointed engineers in key roles to develop climate change policy, and we will be engaging on new zero carbon legislation this year.
Mr Shaw agreed with our recommendation to work as partners with officials and the Climate Change Commission Interim Committee. We suggested that one of the next steps is to deepen collaborative relationships across central and local government and industry. We can be a catalyst for that collaboration to advance economic and environmental success.