REA: Registered Engineering Associate

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The Engineering Associates Act and
The Engineering Associates Registration Board

The Engineering Associates Act was passed by the New Zealand Parliament in 1961 becoming effective from 1 April 1962. The registration provides statutory recognition of suitably qualified individuals in the technician group employed in the engineering sector.

To undertake the task of registering suitably qualified and experienced technician group persons, the Act established the Engineering Associates Registration Board. The Government Department responsible for the administration of the Act is the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Department of Building & Housing Group.

This Board consists of a Chairman and two other members appointed directly by the Minister responsible for the Act, and other members nominated by some of the technical engineering associations recognised under the Act.

Associations specified in the Act are:

The Act provides for the registration of individuals, and membership of one of these associations is not compulsory. There are many REAs who are not members of these associations, particularly in the local and national government sectors.

A Registrar is appointed by the Board to maintain the Register and to carry out the Board's operational functions.

Members of the Engineering Associates Registration Board oversee the administration of the Act.

Their role includes:

  • Determining acceptable standards of academic and technical training, experience, responsibility and appropriate technical qualifications necessary for registration.
  • Confirming an applicant's eligibility for registration.
  • Supervising the maintenance of the Register of registered persons, the issuance of registration certificates and other records.

The Board considers that it has a responsibility to ensure that registration continues to have meaning and value and that it gives an assurance that a registered person has sound technical knowledge and experience and is capable of carrying considerable responsibility. The Board firmly guards and maintains these standards on behalf of the engineering industry and the public.

Link to the EA Act 1961: Engineering Associates Act 1961.

A Chronicle of the REA Credential

This booklet starts with the background that led to the passing of the Engineering Associates Act in 1961 and the establishment of the Engineering Associates Registration Board in 1962. It follows with a chronology of significant events which has shaped the EARB and the REA credential into what they have become today. This insightful record was compiled by John Edgar. It was published in July 2018 to mark John’s retirement after 20 years as Registrar and also recognises his previous 24 year tenure as a Board member. An exceptional association of more than 44 years.

A Chronicle of the Credential (PDF, 1.1 MB)