Pressure to reform engineer’s accountability continues

Engineers accountability and competency has been a hot topic ever since the collapse of the CTV building. Recently Nick Smith, the Building and Housing Minister, announced that the Government has been looking to ‘strengthen’ (aka increase) regulations around engineers training and accountability (see our previous post here).

As a further development in the CTV saga is that the High Court ruled on Wednesday that an disciplinary hearing into the conduct of the structural engineer, Mr Harding, can proceed.

IPENZ president, Kevin Thompson, has welcomed the proposed changes, especially the requirement for all engineers to be registered. Currently registration is only required for those engineers who are designing houses. Mr Thompson further stated that the scope of compulsory registration should not be limited to designers of houses and multi-storey buildings and that those designing other elements, such as bridges.

Another important amendment is the proposed duty to report any concerns an engineer may have around another’s work. This would require engineers to take proactive steps if they felt that a design was not adequate (although the threshold for this has not yet been established). This was highlighted by Paul Campbell, President of the Structural Engineering Society, in a speech in Canterbury last night.

Click here to read a Radio NZ article on the above developments.

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