21 December 2016

Update on Masterton own-motion inquiry

At the beginning of December, IPENZ commenced an own-motion inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the engineering design and construction of six buildings in Masterton.

This inquiry was prompted by some engineering assessments of these buildings that raise questions about their structural integrity and suggest that something in the system hasn’t worked as it should. IPENZ has a responsibility to act on this information and has decided that an own-motion inquiry is the most appropriate way of doing so. This is consistent with IPENZ’s role and our function to continually seek to learn and improve standards.

Initial information gathering has begun, looking into the circumstances surrounding the design and construction of the buildings.

The next step is to identify the main issues and determine whether these need to be investigated further. This will involve careful analysis of the information collected, as well as involvement of relevant professionals, including expert structural engineers.

Initial analysis will help us to determine whether there are any issues concerning individual chartered professional engineers that warrant further investigation. If so, those individuals will be promptly notified and their input sought before any investigation into their specific roles takes place.

The Inquiry will also look into the system in which the individuals were operating, from initial design right through to construction and final sign off of the buildings. It is part of IPENZ’s role and function to continually seek to learn and improve standards.

IPENZ has commenced a dialogue with the sector, including with key stakeholder groups such as SESOC.

It’s important to stress that no conclusions have been reached at this stage, and that the inquiry will be conducted in an impartial and methodical way.