We are excited to announce our fantastic line-up of speakers for Conference 2024. Our speaker line-up is almost complete, just confirming the last remaining ones. As you can see below, we have a great array of speakers discussing some of the most important topics concerning the Compliance industry. We hope that you will enjoy their presentations and come along to hear then, support them, and hopefully they will answer any questions that you have.

Hon. Chris Penk, MP National Party

Chris is the Minister for Housing and Building. He will be our opening speaker of the conference discussing the latest issues within the industry and what the government has planned for us.

Chris was first elected to Parliament in 2017, as successor to Sir John Key in the then-Helensville seat and re-elected in 2020 and 2023.

Chris is a proud representative for the Kaipara Ki Mahurangi electorate, which includes advocating for constituents on various local issues.

Now the Minister for Building and Construction, Minister for Land Information, Minister for Veterans, Associate Minister of Defence and Associate Minister of Immigration, Chris feels fortunate to be a part of the Christopher Luxon-led coalition government.

After completing his secondary education at Kelston Boys High School, Chris studied at Auckland University, gaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1999 and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degree in 2009.

He had joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 2000, which included serving as an officer of the watch on the HMNZS Te Kaha. He also worked at Government House as aide-de-camp to the Governor-General in 2003. Later, Chris joined the Australian Defence Force and fulfilled his dream of serving in submarines, being appointed navigating officer of HMAS Sheean in 2006, and finally was stationed in the Northern Arabian Gulf in late 2007.

Chris returned to New Zealand in 2008 where he completed his legal training. This culminated in his admission to the bar in 2010 and working as staff solicitor in Auckland. In late 2015 he established his own firm, leaving Ong & Penk Lawyers behind in late 2017 to enter Parliament.

Rob Holland, Nelligan

Risk based approaches to passive fire remediation

You can almost guarantee that if you look hard enough at a building that is more than 20 (or even 10!) years old, you'll open a Pandora's box of passive fire defects which, in some cases, could present a serious life safety risk to the building's occupants.

IQP's have an essential role to play in identifying passive fire issues within our existing building stock and working with building owners to improve the safety of occupants. At times however this can be difficult when faced with a lack of building information for finding key fire separations, commercial pressures and limited time on site for thorough inspections.

This talk will discuss a risk-based approach for assessing passive fire issues and when you should wave the red flag or possibly escalate to refusing to issue your 12A.

More importantly, it will present a risk based, practical and collaborative methodology for remedying passive fire defects. This methodology includes working with the Building owner and possibly even the Territorial Authority, to formulate a scope and programme of works that achieves the best possible safety outcomes within a realistic budget.

Rob is a Chartered Professional Fire Engineer and Director of Nelligan Consulting Engineers, a consultancy firm based on Auckland's North Shore. He has worked in the fire safety industry for the last 16 years across a wide range of residential, commercial and industrial projects. As part of his work he has helped many clients with assessing passive fire defects and formulating a scope of work on a risk based approach. These projects include a 40 storey building in Auckland's CBD and a 6 storey hotel. More recently he has been talking to many IQP and building compliance firms about passive fire and how best to improve the safety of our buildings and relishes the opportunity to talk at this year's ABC Conference.

Mathew Hooper, Technical Manager, South Brook Fire Research Laboratory

Case Study - Testing of a Passive Fire product

An in-depth dive into a products development to showcase how changes in the installation of Passive Fire products can impact on physical performance of the product and how this relates to the on-going compliance of Fire Separations within buildings.

Mathew will show why understanding what the process of product testing is important in relation to on-going compliance.

Mathew is passionate about life safety in buildings in New Zealand and helping people understand and the rules and regulations that are set out to keep people safe within buildings in New Zealand.

He has specialised in Passive Fire protection as in my experience as an IQP this was one of the areas that had the most questions without answers. 

Experience: Avionics Engineering Air NZ 2007-2012, Youth Work 2012-2015, IQP Building inspections 2015-2021, Technical Manager Fire Laboratory 2021-present.

Achievements: L4 Avionics Engineering, Diploma Pastoral Leadership, IQP Registration 2, 3/2, 3/3, 4, 7, 13/3, 14/2, 15/2, 15/3, 15/4, L4 Passive Fire Protection Inspections.


René Hattingh, LLB

Liability of IQP work

John Lucas - Insurance Council NZ


Simon Hemmings - Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Poutini

Health NZ Passive Fire Programme and Compliance

Joining Canterbury DHB in 2015 I was presented with a small project of potential non compliances within Passive and Fire Engineering, This soon became a monumental programme that required a new approach to passive fire and how the industry sees this vital part of safety and compliance, the Project is now regarded as an industry target and we continue to evolve and change the way the industry is approached.

Our Programme has changed the boundaries of normal practice and now encompasses every aspect of the construction process life cycle, Passive fire design, installation, inspection and maintenance is now considered from concept design and includes quality assurance and compliance at its forefront.

By bringing together the best in the industry we are able to provide and achieve compliance certainty for our IQP's and BCA's across Passive Fire, Intumescent Coatings, Fire Doors and Fire Engineering.

Simon is the Project Manager with Health New Zealand and is the Programme lead for the former Canterbury and West Coast Passive Fire Programme for the last 9 years. He holds an Honours Degree in Architecture and has over 25 years experience in Design and Project Management. His passion for Fire Engineering and Protection was born from the final years of his degree which progressed into starting a Masters in Fire Engineering in the UK, Simon intends to complete this in NZ.

Charlie Loughnan - FFP Canterbury 

Supervision of non IQP doing IQP inspections - What is acceptable?

Charlie is the Corporate Services Manager at FFP Canterbury. Charlie has a strong technical background in the fire industry and is often imparting his knowledge on the ABC members at the Regional Forums.

Ryan Cooper and Brian Wilson - Christchurch City Council

Audit journey - "building the plane in flight"

The Christchurch City Council has consistently recognized the advantages and significance of conducting on-site audits for building warrant of fitness. Our collaborative efforts with stakeholders have yielded positive, impactful, and transformative results across various metrics.

This presentation aims to elucidate our journey towards refining and advancing our functions and objectives to meet the compliance standards and expectations set forth by MBIE. Through close collaboration with governmental bodies, building owners, Independent Qualified Persons (IQPs), and other relevant parties, we have endeavoured to comprehensively grasp, educate, and fulfil the requisite outcomes. As a result, we have committed substantial resources in terms of personnel, training, tools, and procedural enhancements to ensure a robust physical presence, aiming to bolster both the quantity and, more significantly, the quality of our audits. While our project remains ongoing, we are steadfast in our commitment to refining our approach as we effectively "build our airplane in flight."

Ryan Cooper's affinity for the construction industry blossomed early on, leading him to pursue a career in carpentry and joinery in the UK. Upon relocating to Christchurch in 2013, he continued to broaden his knowledge and experience.

Following a brief stint in the rebuild, Ryan transitioned into the regulatory world, initially serving as a building control officer. In this role, he managed tasks ranging from processing building consents, undertake building inspections and certifying building work. Through these experiences, he honed a thorough understanding of regulatory compliance and building standards. Currently, Ryan holds the esteemed position of Principal Building Official within the building compliance team at Christchurch City Council. In this pivotal role, he serves a team of professionals, ensuring processes and procedures are adhered to, consistency is maintained and seeks opportunities for improvements. With his extensive industry tenure and diverse skill set, Ryan stands as an invaluable advocate for building safety and compliance within his community.

Brian Wilson - With origins in the UK, my career trajectory stems from service in both the military and civil fire sectors. My expertise in compliance within New Zealand has been cultivated through roles within the Council Building Consent Authority and Territorial Authority, focusing particularly on fire safety regulations, compliance schedules, and Building Warrants of Fitness. I am deeply passionate about this continually evolving field, recognizing that stringent compliance is no longer discretionary but imperative for all stakeholders involved.

Prashant Patel 

Smoke Control Case Study

Prashant arrived in New Zealand over 20 years ago (2003) from Mumbai, India as a Mechanical Engineer. Having completed various trainings on Mechanical, Smoke Control, Passive Fire, Electrical and Plumbing sectors. Since arriving in NZ, Prashant's experience includes working as a Council, Contractor and Consultant with employers such as Auckland Council, Auckland DHB, CoveKinloch, SGS, Argest, Apex Air and RCR as Mechanical/Building Technical Consultant.
Currently the owner and director of Building & Engineering Services Limited serving Auckland and Waikato regions for engineering and consulting services for Mechanical, Smoke Control and Fire Safety related services.
Prashant is a current member of Engineering NZ, SFPE, IRHACE, International Association of Engineers and also a council approved IQP and PS author for various specified systems for different councils.

Saskia Holditch, MBIE BSP

Fire Safety Assessments of Boarding Houses

After the deadly fire at Loafer's Lodge in May 2023, MBIE audited boarding houses on fire safety across the country. This is a short overview of the site visits and some of the findings.

Saskia Holditch is a seasoned Fire Engineer with over five years of experience at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Her career in the fire industry spans across the Caribbean, Canada, and the Netherlands, which has allowed her to develop a comprehensive understanding of the unique challenges and requirements of fire safety in different geographical and cultural contexts.
At MBIE, Saskia has been instrumental in developing content for the fire related acceptable solutions and verification methods and has been involved with several fire safety standards and SFPE committees.

George Hare, Senior fire researcher, BRANZ

Impact of EV cars on carparks within Buildings

The presentation will take a look at some of the hazards posed by lithium-ion batteries, how those hazards relate to EV's. I'll then look at what research is currently available and where the gaps are.

Some case studies, looking at challenges for both first responders and structural engineers including a regulatory perspective.

George Hare has been working at BRANZ for almost eight years. He joined the Fire Testing team, undertaking commercial testing of passive fire systems to a range of standards, primarily for the New Zealand and Australian markets.

Moving to the Fire Research team in 2018, his focus has shifted from looking at product compliance, to testing the regulatory settings, for example external fire spread.

He has been working in the lithium-ion battery space since 2019 and works closely with colleagues in Australia in the AFAC Alternative & Renewable Energy Technologies group and is on the Research Reference Group for the Safety of Alternative & Renewable Energy Technologies project being run by Fire & Rescue New South Wales.

New Technology in the Compliance regime

Safety In Design - What is the impact to Compliance of the Building?

FENZ Update on Compliance