Architects, there is information for you on concerns and complaints in the discipline section of For Architects.

The New Zealand Registered Architects Board (NZRAB) is there to help when you have issues with your architect. 

Is your “architect” an architect?

Many callers to NZRAB think they have been using an architect, when in fact they have been using a Licensed Building Practitioner or some other building designer.  The way to check whether your designer is an architect, is to use the online Search the Register facility.  If your designer’s name appears on the NZRAB Register, then they are an architect, and therefore under our jurisdiction, and you can use one of the processes listed below.  If they are not on the NZRAB Register then they are not an architect.

For access to the Licensed Building Practitioners Board Register, click on this link

The three processes provided by NZRAB are:

A. an architectural service concerns process
B. a complaint process
C. a competence review process

A. Architectural service concerns

If you would like NZRAB to try and facilitate a resolution of the issues with your architect, then tell us about the issues and the outcome you are looking for and then one of our panel of senior architects will try and facilitate a solution that you are both happy with.  This is an informal service and not mediation or arbitration, there will be no formal ruling from this service.  Please use the form below.

Architectural service concerns form

Note 1: that at any time during this process a person may decide to end the process and instead send a complaint form or competence form.

Note 2: the NZRAB does not provide (1) legal advice, (2) insurance advice, or (3) opinions on the work of an architect.

B. Complaint

If you want to lay a complaint against an architect or former architect, you can do that.  The NZRAB cannot accept complaints against architect practices, only individual architects or former architects.  The architect would be sent the complaint and invited to respond.  An Investigating Panel would investigate the complaint.  This could result in disciplinary action being taken against the architect, or the complaint being dismissed.  The Board cannot award financial compensation to a complainant or require the architect to refund fees, if grounds are found to discipline the architect.  Please use the forms below and note the advice. 

The form below is recommended where what is alleged occurred before 1 January 2018.

Complaint form pre 1 January 2018

The form below is recommended where what is alleged occurred on or after 1 January 2018.

Complaint form after 1 January 2018

Please include the contract/terms of appointment that you have with your architect, as part of the evidence to support your complaint. Other supporting evidence, submitted in chronological order, will assist with the investigation.

The Board has a document called Guidance on Disciplinary Procedures dated 17 August 2021.   This document is intended to be read in conjuction with the Registered Architects Act 2005 and Registered Architects Rules 2006.  The Act and the Rules remain the primary source of information about the NZRAB complaints process.

Registered Architects Act 2005

Registered Architects Rules 2006

C. Competence review

If you think an architect is generally not competent or no longer safe to practice, there is a review process NZRAB has available to check the architect’s competence.  This could result in the architect having their registration suspended or cancelled, or the architect could be found to be competent.  Please use the form below.

Competence concern form

The Executive at NZRAB will do their best to help you with questions about the three processes, please ring 04 471 1336.  The choice of process is yours to make, just complete the appropriate form and send it to NZRAB.  Correspondence should be sent to:

Note: the NZRAB does not provide (1) legal advice, (2) insurance advice, or (3) opinions on the work of an architect .

An often-asked question is, how long do these processes take?  It is important to remember that the complaints and competence review processes are governed by the Registered Architects Act 2005 and Registered Architects Rules 2006.  These are formal processes and typically can take around 40 weeks to reach completion.  Architectural service concerns are informal and have been dealt with typically in around two weeks, however, if more time is required to get a resolution that the parties can accept, then a longer period may be required.