Working With Us

If you haven't worked with us or another Professional Engineer before you might find the following useful.

Professional Obligations

We are members of the Association of Consulting Engineers, the Institution of Professional Engineers, Chartered Professional Engineers, and serve as an expert witness in the courts. That means we have a number of obligations and duties we are required to fulfill in addition to our own company and personal values.

All of these require us to act with honesty, objectivity and integrity. We must remain independent and impartial, and must remain within the area of our expertise.

As our client you will always receive our honest and straightforward advice, but it is important to understand that we cannot be your advocate. If our advice or opinion is in conflict with the objectives of your project we will discuss this with you as soon as possible. To adopt the slogan of ACENZ, we aim to be your Trusted Advisor.

When we are asked if we can assist a client with a resource management matter such as an Environment Court appeal our initial engagement will be to review the case and to provide an initial opinion. If that opinion is not compatible with your position our ability to assist you may be limited.


When enquiring about working with us it is important to provide us with enough information to allow us to properly understand the type and the extent of the work as we need to make sure that the work is within our area of expertise and our capabilities.

The Brief

When we work with you it is important that our understanding of what you are wanting us to do is the same as yours, so an important part of working with us is to define the brief. This should cover a description of the problem or the scope of the work, any assumptions or limitations that apply, what the expected deliverables are, and when they are needed. It is also important for us to know if you want a proposal developed as an estimate of fees or a fixed-price quotation.


If you are asking for a fee proposal or quotation we will need enough information to properly assess the likely extent of the work.

In many cases it is not possible to fully understand the amount of work required prior to starting the work. In some cases this is because the amount and type of work required will depend on consultation with other parties such as Council, NZTA or your roading authority. In other cases we are involved in design review or design development and the amount of work required to get to a design that works well and that complies with the necessary standards isn't immediately obvious.

In those cases we find most clients prefer us to provide them with our best guess initial estimate of what our fees are likely to be and to start work on a time-and-expenses basis. We will update the fee estimate at key stages of the work, such as once consultation with other parties has concluded and the scope of work has been agreed.

Other Matters

We are obliged to disclose any real or potential conflict of interest at the earliest opportunity.

As a member of ACENZ our company is obliged to maintain an appropriate level of Professional Indemnity Insurance.

We use a contract based on the ACENZ / IPENZ Short Form Agreement


If you would like to work with us please get in touch


The Common Law of Business Balance

There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey. It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.  (Sometimes attributed to John Ruskin).


Related Links




Recent Articles

One of the most common design errors we see is the use of minimum dimensions for parking spaces being used to design residential garages.

This article is the second in a series on parking and explores the question "How Much Parking Do I Need?".

Part One looking at the changing regulations in Auckland is here.