27 Nov 2012

CTV engineer's degree revoked

10:02 pm on 27 November 2012

A convicted fraudster who supervised the construction of the CTV building in Christchurch has had his engineering degree revoked by an Australian university.

The central city building collapsed after the 22 February earthquake in 2011, killing 115 people.

Police in Australia and New Zealand are investigating Gerald Shirtcliff following media allegations that he stole a British engineer's identity and used it work on dozens of high-profile projects in Australia.

A spokesperson for the University of New South Wales says it has finished its investigation into allegations against Mr Shirtcliff, also known as William Fisher.

The spokesperson says Mr Shirtcliff has been notified that his 1974 masters degree in engineering science has been revoked.

Lawyer Nigel Hampton, QC, who represents a man whose wife died in the CTV building, is not surprised the has been revoked.

Mr Hampton says although Mr Shirtcliff completed the master's course, his underlying bachelor's degree was fraudulent and it is uncertain whether the degree would have been needed in his role as construction manager of the CTV building.

However, he says the Australian police could press significant charges if it is discovered that Mr Shirtcliff worked on projects there as an engineer.