28 Feb 2014

Engineers' building design work probed

1:12 pm on 28 February 2014

An investigation is under way into engineers involved with the design work of four Christchurch buildings after they were found to have potential design issues.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment reviewed seven Christchurch buildings, of which four were found to have questionable design aspects.

Maurice Williamson.

Maurice Williamson. Photo: NATIONAL PARTY

The ministry has asked the Institution of Professional Engineers (IPENZ) to investigate whether the engineers involved performed in a negligent or incompetent way.

It has also asked IPENZ to help decide whether there should be any disciplinary action.

IPENZ chief executive Andrew Cleland says an expert panel will be formed to assess the quality of the engineers' practice but because these types of investigations require a lot of detailed questions and answers, the work could take several months.

Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson says if disciplinary action is taken, the parties involved will be named and penalties stated on the Registration Authority website.

"If we found a particular engineer not working to their level of competence, and endangering the public, we would not only look at the particular building, we'd then go and look at the whole of their portfolio of work to make sure that wasn't across the board."

Mr Williamson says the four buildings are not a safety risk, as they have been repaired or demolished.