The High Court has just released a judgment finding that Engineering New Zealand (engineer's professional body) made an error of law when it dismissed disciplinary proceedings against Alan Reay, whose firm designed the CTV building in Christchurch.
The building collapsed during the 2011 Canterbury Earthquake, killing 115 people, but Mr Reay left Engineering New Zealand before disciplinary proceedings could take place. The group still could have pushed forward, and in a statement Engineering New Zealand say they will now push forward.
"Engineering New Zealand will reopen complaints against Alan Reay, following the High Court’s decision today," they say in a statement.
The 116-year-old institution is tasked with handling complaints against members accused of having breached their obligations.
In 2012, when Mr Reay was still a member of the group, the then-chief engineer at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment filed a complaint against him accusing him of breaching the organisation's code of ethics for his involvement in the CTV building construction.
Two years later, Mr Reay resigned from the institution on the same day a draft report was issued referring the matter to the disciplinary committee.
The Attorney General later asked the High Court to review the decision to call off the matter.
The "factor that is overwhelmingly in favour" of letting the proceeding go forward is the public interest, Justice D B Collins wrote in the 43-page judgement.
"Whilst it would not be possible to expel or suspend Dr Reay from the Institution, that is not determinative," the document says. "There may be valuable lessons to be learnt from an assessment of Dr Reay's professional responsibilities in relation to the collapse of the CTV Building that can only be resolved through a disciplinary process."