An appeal lodged this week against the High Court decision to allow the Institute of Professional Engineers to complete its inquiry into the professional standards of engineering on the CTV building is disappointing and should be dealt with urgently, former Building Minister, Engineering Fellow and Nelson MP Dr Nick Smith says.
“It is disgraceful that eight years after the CTV building collapsed, killing 115 people, the Institute for Professional Engineers has not been able to conclude its investigation.
“These ongoing legal shenanigans are unfair on the families of the CTV building victims and is undermining New Zealand’s confidence in our systems for holding professionals accountable. This case is turning into one of justice delayed resulting in justice denied.
“It is unacceptable that a professional, be they an engineer, doctor, lawyer or any other, can avoid accountability by resigning from the professional body, particularly in a case as serious as this where 115 people died.
“I am appalled as a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers and as a Member of Parliament at the way the disciplinary system has been gamed for years to avoid professional accountability.
“Dr Raey has dumped on his junior engineer, contested the Royal Commissions technical conclusions, challenged the composition of the Institute’s Investigating Committee, questioning the Attorney-General’s standing in bringing the judicial review proceedings and is now appealing the decision of the High Court.
“These years of delays means we need the appeal to be resolved urgently. The appeal only enables the Institute to consider the investigation and decide whether to initiate the Disciplinary Committee process that will still take significant time.
“This investigation and disciplinary process is not just important for justice for the CTV families. The engineering profession needs to ensure every possible lesson is learnt from this tragedy. A particularly important area from this case is clarifying the professional responsibilities and accountability of senior engineers and those working under them to guide and improve future practise.
“I have today written to Attorney-General David Parker, with the full support of the CTV families, encouraging the Government to seek urgency on this appeal. We owe it to the CTV building victims’ families and the wider New Zealand public to get these issues resolved.”