Alan Reay calls for end to Ipenz probe
MARTIN VAN BEYNEN
Christchurch Earthquake 2011
Only one complaint of three will go ahead if Christchurch engineer Alan Reay succeeds in a legal bid to stop several investigations into his part in the Canterbury Television building collapse.
Reay is challenging the right of his professional body, the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (Ipenz), to investigate complaints made against him following the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission.
The commission found the CTV building, which collapsed on February 22, 2011, killing 115 people, did not meet construction standards.
It also found structural engineer David Harding, who worked for Reay, had limited experience designing multilevel buildings but was left largely unsupervised by Reay.
The Press has obtained statements of claim and defence from the High Court in Christchurch which set out Reay's case to stop the investigations.
A date for a hearing has yet to be set and the parties are arguing over where the hearing should be held. Ipenz wants it in Wellington and Reay has opted for Christchurch.
The papers show Ipenz intends to investigate three complaints against Reay who, the papers show, accepts only one complaint can be investigated.
It relates to a motion by Ipenz chief executive Andrew Cleland alleging Reay might have failed to disclose his part in the CTV building design when applying for registration as a chartered engineer in May 2011.
Reay denies all the allegations against him.
The two complaints challenged by Reay are a complaint by Tim Elms and others laid last year which alleges deficiencies with design work in 1986 and with remedial work done on the CTV building by Geoff Banks, of Reay's firm, in 1991.
The complaint accuses Reay and Harding of incompetence and says Reay acted unethically by failing to inform various parties of facts about the building between September 2010 and February 2011.
Another allegation in the complaint says Reay destroyed a CD disk containing design information about the CTV building.
The second complaint is by Mike Stannard, who alleges Reay failed to supervise Harding when he designed the CTV building and then exerted inappropriate pressure on the Christchurch City Council to approve the plans.
Reay disputes Ipenz's jurisdiction to conduct the investigations on the basis he can only be bound by rules in force at the time he renewed his membership.
Ipenz rules, which were changed over the years, cannot be retrospective, he argues.
In the papers, Ipenz maintains Reay's contract of membership has an express or implied term he would be bound by the disciplinary consequences which were in force at the time of the alleged misconduct.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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