The New Zealand chapter of the SFPE is the fire engineering Technical Group of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand, and a Chapter of the international Society of Fire Protection Engineers with headquarters located in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
The Chapter is a professional association for those with an interest in the development, application and promotion of scientific and engineering methods to reduce the risks and effects of unwanted fires.
The NZ Chapter of SFPE was formed in 1994. The formation was largely in response to the introduction of a set of performance based legislation covering environmental protection, construction, and worker safety, mandating the performance requirements but also allowing more or less prescriptive solutions. Under the NZ Building Act “Acceptable Solutions” deemed to comply with the legislation. “Alternate Solutions” that use specific fire engineering are normally used where they offer significant project cost savings over a design complying with the acceptable solutions. This legislative change created new fire engineering opportunities for professional engineers, which has resulted in an increase in the numbers of practitioners and an increase in the membership of SFPE in New Zealand.
The NZ Chapter of SFPE operates within the ethical and constitutional frameworks of both parent organisations.