The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) are leading work on building system reform, including the possible regulation of engineers. Earlier this year MBIE undertook a large consultation on the Government’s proposed changes. MBIE received a lot of feedback on the possible regulation of engineers. Since that time, MBIE have working on other portions of the proposed building system reform package (not the regulation of engineers).

On 11 October 2019, MBIE announced several building law reform changes (including improved consent processes for prefabrication, increased transparency of building product information, strengthening CodeMark, changes to the levy and increased penalties for offenses). With this large suite of work passed, MBIE’s policy team is now focused on work to support the regulation of engineers. Very soon MBIE will seek direction from the Minister on the broad scope of restricted engineering work. MBIE have advised that this includes defining:

  • the principles by which work is restricted
  • whether restrictions should only apply to work deemed ‘safety critical’ or more broadly
  • whether restrictions should apply to engineers doing the work or the person overseeing/signing it off, and 
  • what practice fields should be prioritised.

Engineering New Zealand is working with MBIE as closely as possible. Our Policy and Projects Lead (Jodi Caughley) is involved in weekly team meetings at MBIE, one of our General Managers (Helen Davidson) has weekly catch-ups with MBIE staff and our Chief Executive (Susan Freeman-Greene) is meeting with senior officials as often as possible. We recognise it feels that progress is slow.

Once decisions have been made by the Minister on the scope of restricted work, Engineering New Zealand is intending to facilitate work between MBIE officials and key individuals from relevant technical groups. The goal of this work will be to support the appropriate technical input into setting the definition of restricted work for relevant disciplines.

We will continue to keep you up-to-date on the Government’s work on the occupational regulation of engineers. If you would like to discuss progress with someone at Engineering New Zealand, please do not hesitate to contact Jodi Caughley ( or 04 474 9650).

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