College rejects Reay's money

JODY O'CALLAGHAN
Last updated 05:00 26/08/2014
Alan Reay
Kirk Hargreaves/Fairfax NZ
INVESTIGATION DROPPED: Alan Reay had been challenging the right of Ipenz to investigate complaints made against him following the Canterbury quakes royal commission.

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Canterbury University's engineering college says it has rejected a cash donation from the boss of the company that designed the failed Canterbury Television (CTV) building.

The College of Engineering yesterday confirmed Alan Reay, who is a graduate, approached the school in April last year but was rebuffed.

Pro-vice-chancellor, engineering, Jan Evans-Freeman told The Press a donation had been offered.

She said she was "personally involved" in that decision.

"I tried to turn it down and in the College of Engineering we have not received any money from Alan Reay and have not spent any money from Alan Reay."

It is unclear whether the donation was accepted by the wider university.

The UC Foundation, which collects gifts from alumni, did not respond when approached yesterday.

Maan Alkaisi, whose wife Maysoon Abbas was among the building collapse's 185 victims, was unhappy Reay had tried donating to the department in which he (Alkaisi) worked.

The university electronics professor said he saw two cars marked with Reay's company logo in the engineering school car park last year.

"For me, it's unbearable to see anyone from his company here [on campus]," Alkaisi said.

He approached management and raised his concerns about the university being associated with Reay.

"Of course, I wasn't happy at all about this."

He had not spoken with management about Reay or their final decision since he raised his concerns.

"I felt that they would know what to do."

The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission found the CTV building did not meet construction standards.

It found engineer David Harding was working "beyond his competence" and had been largely unsupervised by Reay, his employer, despite Harding's limited experience designing multi-level buildings.

Reay quit the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand in February before it could investigate the complaints made against him.

Engineering firm Beca had been engaged to review information on the collapse of the building and police said their assessment of potential action over the case was continuing.

The Press received no response when comment was sought on this issue through Reay's lawyer yesterday.

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- The Press

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