What is a Registered Engineering Associate (REA)?

A Registered Engineering Associate (REA) is an experienced senior engineering technician / technologist that has been acknowledged with an internationally recognised credential.

They have:

  • Accredited under the Engineering Associates Act (1961), an Act of over 50 years standing
  • Academic qualification equivalent to NZCE or NZ Diploma in Engineering
  • Time proven track record of practical engineering competency and supervisory experience
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise sound engineering principles and judgement

They are required to:

  • Work ethically within the limit of their skills and competencies
  • Act in the public interest especially in matters of Health and Safety, the protection of life, and the well-being of the community
  • Recognise the need for sustainable management of resources and minimise adverse effects on the environment
  • Develop their knowledge and competence on a continuing basis. They can have this assessed on a voluntary basis under REAcap

The Value of the REA Credential

The REA credential provides considerable value to the public, employers, the economy and the recipients.

Value to Public:

  • Provides registration and standards for engineering technicians and technologists
  • Is a statutory mark of quality
  • Encourages life-long education and competency development

Value to Employers:

  • Provides a time-tested benchmark, internationally -recognised
  • Establishes a hierarchy of delegation levels for management, quality and cost control
  • Reduces risk with greater control and accountability in processes
  • Matches workplace tasks against personnel competence experience
  • Fosters ethical standards in industry
  • Provides bases for career pathways, training goals and succession planning

Value to Economy:

  • Provides time-proven robust registration system
  • Encourages technical education and career development
  • Enhances work place skills
  • Recognises and encourages experience-based learning & expertise
  • Establishes workplace structure & succession pathways
  • Benchmarks across industries to enable skills transfer and cross-pollination
  • Recognises prior learning for immigrants to Aotearoa New Zealand

Value to REA:

  • Structures career development
  • Encourages on-going learning through REAcap
  • Provides an internattionally recongised credential

Draughting Career Path

An outline of a typical engineering technician and technologist career path is illustrated in the accompanying graphic

Code of Ethics for Registered Engineering Associates

As part of the registration, the Engineering Associates Registration Board expects all REAs to commit to the responsibilities and obligations listed in the Code of Ethics, as follows:

In undertaking their engineering activities, Registered Engineering Associates shall

  1. Promote and maintain efficiency, good management, proper conduct, high ideals of courtesy and personal integrity, with understanding and cooperation between themselves and others
  2. Uphold the dignity, standing and reputation of REAs and other engineering professionals, and promote their interests, integrity, status, and welfare
  3. Not be involved in illegal, dishonorable, improper and objectionable practices
  4. Commit to the ongoing development of all members of the engineering profession, and to continuous improvement in knowledge and competence
  5. Apply their skills and knowledge ethically and in a spirit of fidelity and fairness to their clients or employers for whom they act, and work within their areas of competence
  6. Uphold the public interest, especially in matters of health and safety and the protection of life and the well-being of the community
  7. Recognise the need for sustainable management of resources and to minimize adverse effects on the environment

The Engineering Associates Act contains provisions for addressing complaints about REAs.

EARB Engineering Occupations


Building Construction
Cost Control Management Technology
Planning Health & Safety

Building Design
Acoustics Exterior Architecture

Building Control
Consenting Inspection & Sign-off IQP’s

Building Services
HVAC Horizontal Infrastructure Fire Prevention
Hydraulics Power Fire Protection
Lighting Security Healthcare
Management Systems Vertical Transport


Communication Engineering
Data Network Distribution Image

Civil Engineering
Asphalt Technology Marine Stormwater Drainage
Concrete Production Materials Testing Traffic
Construction Technology Rail Transportation Systems and Planning
Geotechnical Roading (rural, urban and highways) Wastewater Collection
Infrastructure Asset Management Soil Mechanics Water Reticulation

Electrical Engineering
Commercial Design Machinery Design Technology
Construction Physics Systems Design
Industrial Control Power Generation and Distribution

Electronic Engineering
Automation Electromechanical Microelectronics
Avionics Industrial Control Robotics
Computer Control Instrumentation Technology

Forest management Engineering
Management Technology Wood Products Manufacturing
Measurement Pulp and Paper Manufacturing

Gas and Petroleum Engineering
Exploration Geological Resource Planning
Extraction Geophysical Technology
Processing and Production Organic Chemistry Transmission & Distribution

Industrial Engineering
Asset Management Loss Prevention and Management Project Management
Energy Systems Manufacturing Technology Technology
Technical Management & Servicing Occupational Health and Safetyy Quality Assurance and Control
Fire Prevention Operations Management Process Control

Information Technology Engineering
Software Engineering Information Systems System Engineering
System Architecture

Aeronautical Aerospace

Mechanical Engineering
Materials Handling Rigging Refrigeration
Mobile Equipment Robotics Marine
Automotive Manufacturing Naval Architecture Technology
Detailed Mechanical Design Power Engineering Applied Fields
Fluid Power Process Piping Tool and Die Design
Machine Design Production Engineering

Mining Engineering
Exploration Geophysical Resource Planning
Extraction Inspection Technology
Geology Processing and Production

Structural Engineering
Materials Testing Steel Detailing Concrete Mix Design
Steel Fabrication


Biomedical Science
Biomedical Engineering Laboratory Testing Physiology

Chemical Science
Applied Chemistry / Technology Food Processing and Technology Polymers (plastics)
Corrosion & Electrochemistry Industrial Chemistry
Drug Processing Industrial Hygiene

Environmental Science
Agricultural Management Landscape Architecture Solid-waste Management
Agricultural Technology Natural Resources (air, water & land) Wastewater Treatment
Planning (urban and rural) Water Treatment Hydrology
Biotechnology Pollution Control Protection and Management

Geomatic Science
Cadastral Surveying Geospatial Photogrammetry
Construction Surveying GIS (Geographic Info. Systems) Remote Sensing
Geodesic Hydrography Survey Technology

Metallurgy Science
Extractive Metallurgical Technology Welding
Geoscience Physical Metallurgy

REAcap - Registered Engineering Associate Competency Assessment Programme


Candidates submit their education record and experience to the EARB which assesses whether candidates are sufficiently competent to be registered as an REA under the Act.

REAs need to maintain their technical competence and are up-to-date to assure the public and the industries in which they work.

The recognition of current competency has become an essential element of contemporary occupational registration systems. Regular re-assessment of an individual’s competency is necessary to assure the public that a particular REA has remained up-to-date and technically competent. The Board has a voluntary scheme to provide that ongoing assurance of competency for REAs. There is not yet a legal basis for this in the Engineering Associates Act; hence the voluntary element to this scheme.

The REAcap Scheme

REAcap (pronounced recap, ie REA competency assessed practitioner)

EARB operates a voluntary scheme to all REAs, on a four-yearly cycle.

The REAcap scheme checks an REA's knowledge, academic qualifications, engineering experience and reviews the REA's responsibilities. This way, it re-validates competence and also confirms that an REA is operating within the Code of Ethics After validation, EARB issues the REA with a Certificate of current competence.

REAcap Validation Requirements

Application requires:
  • Application form
  • Declaration
  • Current CV
  • List of recent training & development activities
  • Two or more referees who can verify the occupational activities
  • Application Fee

The Engineering Associates Act and The Engineering Associates Registration Board

The EA Act was passed in 1961, effective from 1 Aril 1962. It established the EARB to register suitably qualified technicians and technologists working in many occupational areas. The Government department responsible for the Act is MBIE.

The Board Chair and two other members are appointed by the Minister of Building and Construction. Other members are nominated from some of the technical associations recognised under the Act. The Board carries out the governance function under the Act.

Associations currently recognised under 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

Link to the EA Act 1961: Engineering Associates Act 1961

A Chronicle of the REA Credential

John Edgar has compiled a booklet issued in July 2018. It outlines the background to the Act and chronicles significant events with the Board and REAs. John was a Board member for 24 years and then Registrar for 20 years, an association of 44 years.

Board Appointments

Name Position Nomination Initial Appointment Date
Deborah Cranko Chair Ministerial April 2020 *
Phil Huse-White REA Deputy Chair DANZ March 2021 **
Glynn Cowley Member NZIRHACE December 2012
Warren Crawley REA Member NZIHE March 2016
Bruce Hurley REA Member NZ Electronics Institute December 2014
Colette McCartney Member Ministerial September 2020
Joanne Johnston Member S+SNZ September 2020
Danny Muthumala REA Member NZIGE March 2018

* Deborah Cranko has been a member since December 2012. She was Deputy Chair from February 2015 to March 2020.
** Phil Huse-White has been a member since February 2020.

Profiles of Board Members

Deborah Cranko (Chair)

Deborah has been a Ministerial appointment since 2012. She is a registered practising architect working mainly in the Wellington region. She holds B BSc and B Arch (hons) and is a Fellow of the NZIA Te Kāhui Whaihanga. She has extensive governance experience in the building sector, within her profession (NZRAB and NZACS), with the former BIA and is member of the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board. She has chaired and served on many architectural, school and community boards.

In practice projects, the architectural practice team works daily across many sectors of the construction industry, with commercial, residential and heritage projects. She works with REAs and CPENG engineers including structural, geotechnical, mechanical, and electrical engineering, and surveying and quantity surveyors. She founded a consultancy with both architects and structural engineers in 1987.

Deborah was appointed Chair since April 2020 and was Deputy Chair from 2015. She is a member of the Finance and Audit Committee.

Phil Huse-White (Deputy Chair)

Phil was appointed in February 2020 on the nomination of the Design Association of NZ (DANZ). Phil is qualified with NZCE (Civil), holds REA and REAcap. Phil started his career as a civil draughting officer working on major motorway projects. He later he moved to a smaller civil and structural engineering consultancy where he progressed from staff engineer to Associate Director over 14 years. Phil established his own civil consulting business in Auckland ten years ago.

He recently worked with WaterCare in Auckland to ensure that REAs were included in the final version of their Compliance Statement Policy for Producing Water and Wastewater Infrastructure. Phil is keen to continue to work with other territorial authorities to ensure that the REA is continued to be recognised as a valuable professional registration within the industry.

Phil was elected Deputy Chair in December 2020.

Glynn Cowley

Glynn was appointed in December 2012 on the nomination of the NZ Institute of Refrigeration Heating & Air Conditioning Engineers of NZ Inc (IRHACE), Glynn is currently Chair of the Refrigerant Licence Trust Board (RLTB).

With more than 40 years’ experience in the HVAC&R industry, Glynn completed his refrigeration trade apprenticeship with Ellis Hardie Symington. He founded Cowley Refrigeration Ltd and was its Managing Director and CEO until he retired in 2010. Glynn is actively involved within the HVAC&R Industry as an IRHACE Councillor and is its representative on IIR’s NZ National Council. He brings wide-ranging experience to the Board, with a keen personal interest in ensuring that the HVAC industry maintains sustainable specific compliance training within a changing environment.

Glynn is a member of the Staff Committee.

Warren Crawley

Warren was appointed in March 2016 on the nomination of the NZ Institute of Healthcare Engineering. Warren started his career in the NZ Railways prior to entering the health industry in the late 1980’s. He is qualified with NZCE (Electrical) and holds REA and REAcap. He graduated from Massey University with a Diploma in Business Studies and a Master of Technology (Distinction).

Warren is currently employed as Principal Hospital Engineer with the Mid-Central District Health Board in Palmerston North. He is a member of the three Standards Committees overseeing four NZ and Australian Joint Standards.

Bruce Hurley

Bruce was appointed in December 2014 on the nomination of the NZ Electronics Institute where he serves as National Secretary/Treasurer. He joined NZPO as a radio technician and qualified with a Radio Technician’s Certificate, NZCE (Telecoms) and holds REA.

He has a long career within the telecommunications industry with many technical and management roles as the former NZ Post Office and into the new entities of Telecom and Spark. His experience includes design and deployment of radio networks, field force management and commercial relationship management.

Currently Bruce is Procurement Business Partner for Spark utilising his technical knowledge to get best value for supplier spend.

Bruce is a member of the Staff Committee.

Joanne Johnston

Jo was appointed in September 2020 on the nomination of Survey and Spatial New Zealand. Jo qualified as B Surv from University of Otago, is a Registered Professional Surveyor, a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor and MS+SNZ.

Jo has a 30 year career spanning both public and private sector. Her interest lies in occupational regulation and leads the Survey and Spatial Examinations Committee. The Committee leads policy and arranges competency examinations for the Cadastral Surveyors Licensing Board of New Zealand for surveyors to become Licensed Cadastral Surveyors.

Jo has many working relationships in Government and the private sector providing advice to Crown and Māori on Treaty Settlements, the Office of the Surveyor-General on Rule changes, Land Information New Zealand with input into the enhanced Landonline system and local councils working through subdivisional consents.

Jo encourages people with an interest in mathematics and the love of the outdoors to consider surveying, engineering, or construction as a career.

Colette McCartney

Colette has been a ministerial appointment since September 2020. Colette is a registered practising architect working mainly in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region, based in Tauranga.

Colette’s 24 year career features a broad range of experience in commercial architecture and interior design for award-winning firms in Sydney and London as well as at home in New Zealand. She works effectively to deliver complex interior and architecture, fit out and refurbishment projects for major clients. Colette graduated from Auckland University in 1999 with Bachelor of Architecture (Hons), holds a Masters in Construction Management (Distinction) and is an Associate of the NZIA Te Kāhui Whaihanga.

Colette’s role as Business Group Leader at GHD, means that she oversees a national team of employees in Wellington and Auckland. Her role also entails leading projects for many Government Departments including Ministry of Justice, ACC and NZ Police.

Danny Muthumala

Danny was appointed in March 2018 on the nomination by the NZ Institution of Gas Engineers (NZIGE). Danny is qualified with NZCE (Civil) and holds REA.

He has had a long career within the gas Industry undertaking a variety of technical and management roles over the past 37 years. His career in the gas Industry began in 1983 with the Natural Gas Corporation (NGC) in New Plymouth. In 1986 he joined the local gas distribution company “City Gas” in New Plymouth and has continued his journey in the gas industry working for PowerCo Ltd as a project engineer.

Danny is Treasurer and Grants Coordinator for the Sri Lanka Association of New Zealand and volunteers at the NZ Translation Centre.

Profile of Registrar

Roger Woods

Roger has been Registrar since July 2018. He is qualified with ETC (Electrical), NZCE (Telecoms) and holds REA. He has undertaken business studies at Massey University and completed professional development programmes in NZ, UK, and US.

He began his engineering career as an electrical and electronics technician with a fire protection and electronic protective systems company in Christchurch. Roger moved to Wellington to join the public service as a technical officer specialising in electronic protective systems. After promotions he later assumed supervisory roles in protective services and information management.

Roger has more than 30 years in leadership and public service management, including at executive level. He has successfully led teams though technological innovation, organisational and process change. A career highlight was his appointment as Acting Chief Information Officer (CIO) and member of the senior executive group for a New Zealand Government Department.

Roger is a member of the Finance and Audit Committee.