Any member of the public is entitled to lay a complaint against an architect.
A complaint against an architect must be in writing and include a time frame of events and copies of relevant documents (e.g. copy of the brief and contract). Complaints must state the provision in section 25 (1) of the Registered Architects Act 2005, and, if applicable, the provision(s) in the Minimum Standards of Ethical Conduct for Registered Architects that the complainant believes the architect has breached. You must include all the documentation that you want considered with the completed complaint form or letter. If other material is provided later, it will only be considered at the discretion of the committee investigating the complaint.
A complaint form is available to help you set out your complaint and include relevant documents.
Ring the NZRAB to discuss document management. In most cases complaints should be emailed as a pdf to firstname.lastname@example.org, or a hard copy posted to:
New Zealand Registered Architects Board
PO Box 11106
Do not send by Drop Box or Zip files attached to emails.
If what is alleged is something for which an architect could be held to account, an Investigating Committee investigates the complaint. Further information may be sought from the parties. The Investigating Committee then determines whether the complaint should be dismissed or that a formal Disciplinary Hearing is required. A Disciplinary Hearing uses procedures similar to a court with a Board prosecutor and defence counsel for the architect and cross examination. At the hearing the complainant is typically required to be a witness for the prosecutor. If the complaint is upheld, a penalty may be imposed. The architect has a right to appeal against the Board's decision to the courts.
A graphic illustrating how these procedures work is available, along with more detailed information, including advice on how to better ensure difficulties don't arise. The NZRAB also provides architects with information and advice based on lessons learnt from past complaints to help them avoid similar difficulties.
Persons wishing to contact the NZRAB to discuss their concerns should telephone 04 471 1336.
The NZRAB also has a separate procedure by which a client, member of the public or organisation can raise a concern about an architect's competence in general.