• Building news

07 Jul 2023

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Southland District Council has been advised that three properties in Southland have been affected by the alleged use of fraudulent producer statements by Jon Hall. This means that an illegitimate producer statement has been submitted to Council for these properties.

Police and Engineering NZ are investigating the situation, which may have affected at least 40 councils throughout the country and potentially more than 1,000 properties. Engineering NZ has put out a press release asking concerned property owners to contact their local council first.

Southland District Council is investigating the nature of the producer statements in question for the three properties – what do they cover and what risk does this propose to the safety of the people who live there? Following this investigation, we will reach out to the affected property owners to give them the relevant information regarding their property. However, if you are concerned, please contact our building services team.

SDC is working with Engineering NZ and other authorities involved to ensure appropriate action is taken at the appropriate time.

Engineering work can relate to a whole range of construction methods. As a result, the implications for homeowners will be specific to the type of work the engineer signed off.

At this stage Council is not aware of any other potentially affected properties.

The following is the press statement from Engineering NZ:

Over 40 councils affected by consenting concerns

Engineering New Zealand says concerns about building consents having been improperly signed off affect over 40 councils, with Chief Executive Dr Richard Templer saying supporting councils is “a clear priority”.

This follows recent allegations that one of its members, engineering technologist Jonathan (Jon) Beau Hall, director of Kodiak Consulting Limited, has completed and signed documents using others’ identities and credentials without their permission. The documents include producer statements, which provide assurance to councils that a design meets Building Code and consenting requirements when signed by a Chartered Professional Engineer.

Templer says, “This is a tough time for councils and their communities, and I feel for the many owners who are anxious to know if their properties are impacted.

“I understand over one thousand properties may be impacted by the alleged misappropriations, and it’s extremely disappointing to see allegations of such scale.”

Templer says many engineers have readily taken on “a huge amount of extra work” to help local councils fully understand the implications for owners. “Exactly how a given property is impacted is likely to be specific, so Engineering New Zealand is also working with councils to develop guidance to classify the likelihood and types of risk to impacted properties,” he says.

“Councils are a first port of call for communities and ultimately accountable for their processes – but this is a significant task and complex situation. Our goal is to help councils provide certainty for owners as soon as we can, although it will likely take some time to work things through,” says Templer.

New Zealand has 69 authorities, including councils, that can issue building consents. In recent years Engineering New Zealand has made its producer statements available online. Benefits for engineers and consenting authorities can include quality assurance, consistency and efficiency, secure signing within that system, and real-time updates when changes are made.

Templer says owners with concerns about their properties should contact their local council first. Additionally, Engineering New Zealand’s website has a public search to check whether members and Chartered Professional Engineers have outstanding notices against them.

“‘Chartered Professional Engineer’ is a protected title and quality mark for engineers who have undergone a competency assessment, and one that councils should be able to trust” says Templer.

“As such, we take the matter of alleged misrepresentation very seriously, and are passing on any relevant information to the Police and relevant authorities,” he says.

Affected councils – current as of 7 July 2023

Auckland Council, Buller District Council, Carterton District Council, Central Hawkes Bay District Council, Central Otago District Council, Christchurch City Council, Far North District Council, Gisborne District Council, Hamilton City Council, Hauraki District Council, Hurunui District Council, Kaipara District Council, Kawerau District Council, Marlborough District Council, Masterton District Council, Matamata-Piako District Council, New Plymouth District Council, Ōpōtiki District Council, Ōtorohanga District Council, Queenstown Lakes District Council, Rangitīkei District Council, Rotorua Lakes Council, Ruapehu District Council, Selwyn District Council, South Taranaki District Council, South Waikato District Council, South Wairarapa District Council, Southland District Council, Taupō District Council, Tauranga City Council, Thames Coromandel District Council, Upper Hutt City Council, Waikato District Council, Waimakariri District Council, Waipā District Council, Wairoa District Council, Waitomo District Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Westland District Council, Whakatāne District Council, Whanganui District Council, Whangārei District Council

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