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Our advocacy on members’ behalf positions us as a credible voice that offers engineering-based insight and solutions in New Zealand’s best interests.

The expertise of our members and technical groups has been vital in shaping our policy submissions to government this year. Engineering New Zealand has had a particular focus on water, building consents and resource management systems, where we know the current state is not tenable for our country’s future.

We delivered two major reports highlighting concerns in the building system, with both providing valuable insights and learnings for engineering professionals in these areas, especially structural engineering. Quality Issues in the Building System found design issues typically involve at least one Chartered Professional Engineer and that the building system doesn’t have sufficient checks and balances to catch mistakes. The Warehouse Review Findings Report found design engineers were incorrectly designing or omitting critical details from warehouse designs that could pose potential risks to life safety.

"As engineers it is important to have a point of contact with central government to ensure engineering issues important to the public and engineers are considered and addressed. Engineering New Zealand fills that role and works with the various governmental agencies to provide a collective voice for engineering issues. They are in regular contact and aware of the issues on a broad scale and have better reach, beyond what individual engineers or engineering societies can do. "

– Carol Caldwell FEngNZ CPEng, Past President, Society of Fire Protection Engineers NZ 

Where concerns are identified, Engineering New Zealand works with members to identify and recommend solutions for relevant parties – engineers, government, councils, and other stakeholders. Here, education has an important role, and we are delivering guidance and learning opportunities to help engineers learn from others’ mistakes. We are also working with the government and other stakeholders (like our technical groups) to address the issues raised in these reports to work towards a more robust and reliable building system. For example, our submission on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s “Review of the Building Consents System” opposes introducing competition as a regulatory principle as we have identified cost pressures as a systems issue that has negative impacts for quality outcomes.

At the end of 2023, Te Ao Rangahau provided briefings to incoming ministers on key priorities for the profession. Top of the list was skills shortages. This has been an issue throughout the pandemic but is becoming increasingly accentuated with tertiary institutions pulling their funding of engineering programmes. Other briefings related to occupational regulation and our ongoing commitment to the Chartered Professional Engineers scheme; the need for planning and project security in the infrastructure pipeline; systems reform; resilience; and climate change. We also worked with the Transportation Group to deliver a briefing to the incoming Minster of Transport.

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