CTV designer fails to show at IPENZ

(Photo Credit: Chris Hutching)
Andrew Cleland is Chief Executive of IPENZ

A disciplinary panel of the Institute of Professional Engineers has retired to consider its verdict over Christchurch’s CTV building.

The hearing was held yesterday over a complaint to IPENZ about engineer David Harding who was employed by Alan Reay in 1985 to design the building.

The collapse of the CTV building on February 22, 2011 killed 115 people, and a subsequent Royal Commission found the design had failed to comply with building standards.

The complaint to IPENZ about breach of ethics was laid by Tim Elms whose daughter was killed in the building.

Mr Harding was not at yesterday’s hearing, and he resigned from IPENZ before the hearing.

But his lawyer Michael Kirkland defended him, initially challenging the jurisdiction of the panel.

This required an adjournment by the panel for a closed door discussion before they returned to continue the substantive hearing, saying an explanation about jurisdictional arguments would be issued later.

Mr Harding provided a written statement read out by his lawyer in which he says he has poor health, has difficulty remembering and expects to end his career in September.

Much of the questioning and discussion revolved around Mr Harding’s relationship with IPENZ and whether he had provided accurate information, rather than queries about events surrounding the design stage.

The panel had several technical reports that were deemed "as read".

Some family members of victims who died gave their evidence about how it had affected their lives.

IPENZ chief executive Andrew Cleland, who attended the hearing, says the panel would typically provide a report within two or three weeks which would be sent to the parties who could appeal.

The panel indicated it would make a determination about the alleged breach of code of ethics and whether this would be published, as well as a decision about jurisdiction and Mr Harding's representation.

c.hutch@clear.net.nz

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