Homeowners face nervous wait after Taupō man allegedly signed off inappropriately on over 1000 homes

Homeowners across New Zealand face a nervous wait after allegations a Taupō man used the identities of qualified engineers to sign off more than 1000 buildings.

Forty-two councils are now racing to contact homeowners whose producer statements and designs were signed off by Jonathan Beau Hall of Kodiak Consulting Ltd.

Police are also investigating, while officials check if the residential and commercial buildings he signed off are structurally safe.

Acacia Bay resident Peter Gillespie is one of more than 1000 new residential and commercial building owners from the Far North to Queenstown who has received a letter from his council suggesting his home may be affected.

"I was very surprised because right through the whole building process I dealt with a great building company, fantastic designer," Gillespie told Newshub.

Engineering NZ revealed to Newshub it found out only by chance from a member of the public that Taupō-based Hall had signed off documents needed for building consents using the identities of chartered professional engineers without their permission.

"This is a case of intentional misrepresentation." Engineering New Zealand chief executive Richard Templer said.

"Someone had a query about the design and contacted one of the engineers involved... they checked it and said 'I wasn't involved and shouldn't be on the form'. That is what triggered the complaint and triggered the investigation," Templer said.

The documents in question include producer statements, which are used to give councils assurance that new designs will be or have been constructed to meet the Building Code and consent requirements when signed by a chartered professional engineer.

Newshub attempted to contact Jonathan Hall of Kodiak Consulting. He didn't return our calls.

While he's listed on Engineering NZ's website as an international engineering technologist, he is not a chartered professional engineer.

It's alleged Hall did the designs, but instead of sending them off to a professional engineer to check and sign off, "what he was doing was the design and cutting and pasting signatures and submitting to council," Templer said.

Waikato District Mayor Jacqui Church said her region alone has over a hundred homes potentially wrongly signed off, while in Taupō there could be up to 400.

"That's important we actually get on top of this for the people so we mitigate their worries and concerns absolutely as soon as possible," Church told Newshub.

The focus now is on pinpointing affected homes and checking their structural safety.

"If your home or building was consented before 2016 then you don't have to worry so that's a line in the sand helpful to people and then the seven years since, we are looking to focus our attention on who's involved, the extent of it and contact those people as soon as possible," Church said.

Engineering NZ said police are now investigating the alleged fraud.

"If there are major faults in design they will need to be corrected and that will be a complicated process and how that will be paid for, that's my biggest concern," Templer said.

Homeowner Peter Gillespie hopes he is one of the lucky ones.

"The actual houses haven't been identified yet so maybe I've dodged a bullet, who knows!" Gillespie said.

Engineering NZ and Councils are urging concerned homeowners to contact them, most are based in the central North Island around Rotorua, Waipa, Waikato and Taupō.

Taupō District Council said in a statement staff and contracted engineers are working hard to figure out the extent of potential problems as a result of the alleged misrepresentations.

The council said they've already been in touch with some property owners who may be affected, but believe the number of projects potentially affected was expected to be "several hundred".

Council chief executive Julie Gardyne said the council recognised the concern this would cause across the community.

"We have a special project team working as quickly as possible to confirm which buildings are affected and what actions are needed going forward and we will be in direct contact with affected property owners as we work through this process," Gardyne said.