The Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) is the professional body which represents professional engineers from all disciplines in New Zealand. The terms "engineering profession" and "professional engineer/engineering" are used by the Institution in the broadest possible way, to include all those who use a systematic process of analysis, design/synthesis and implementation, strive to operate in a responsible way, are governed by a code of ethics set by their peers, and engage in continuing professional development to maintain the currency of their competence.
The terms adopted do not specify how such skills are achieved, and thus IPENZ seeks to include people from widely varying educational backgrounds.
IPENZ provides services for about 13,000 members, who are classified into various membership classes according to their levels of education and extent of experience in engineering practice. The Institution sets internationally bench-marked qualifying standards for degree qualifications in engineering and thus serves engineers by securing formal recognition for their professional standing.
IPENZ assesses foreign qualifications, encourages and assists continuing professional development, and provides awards and scholarships that recognise achievement. IPENZ provides a widening range of membership services. It also represents engineers' interests with government, provides contact with other professionals through branches and technical groups, and maintains a vigorous publication and conference programme. IPENZ promotes public debate on engineering issues in the community, and seeks to contribute, on behalf of the engineering profession, to the resolution of issues affecting the wider community.
IPENZ is governed by an elected Board, chaired by the President and including eleven other members. This Board sets strategy and employs the Chief Executive, who manages the expenditure of the budget to provide services to members and to fund activities defined by the strategy.
Former President Anthony Wilson (FIPENZ) talks about the important role IPENZ plays informing New Zealand engineering policy.
The roots of IPENZ go back almost 100 years. The first professional engineering body in New Zealand, the Institute of Local Government Engineers of New Zealand, was formed in 1912. The following year however, the New Zealand Society of Civil Engineers was formed. It was thought to be more representative of the engineering profession, and the two bodies eventually merged in 1914.
The Society grew steadily over the next twenty years until 1937, when the increasing number of non-civil engineers among the membership began to demand recognition in the form of a name change. Therefore, after much debate, the name of the New Zealand Society of Civil Engineers was changed to the New Zealand Institution of Engineers. The present name was adopted in 1982 to reflect the importance of the professional engineering ethos in the organisation.