The NZIQS was established on 27 September 1978 through a merger of The Building Surveyors Institute of New Zealand and the Quantity Surveyors Institute of New Zealand (formed in 1943).
Prior to the start of World War II, 1939, quantity surveyors operated, having mostly trained in the United Kingdom but there was no established professional grouping or organisation representing their interests.
Early records indicate that there were a few quantity surveying consultant firms, i.e Chas E. George and sons, Dunedin, A.L. Robertson of Wellington and Messrs James Stewart, Alfred Maltby and H.B. Sommerville of Auckland, (read Rene Natusch’s recollections of these early pioneers of QS in NZ) however, the majority of quantity surveyors and building estimators were employed by Government departments and building contractors.
The most important initial influence of the QS profession was during 1942 - 43 war years period when James Fletcher (later the first Sir James) was appointed the Commissioner of Defence Construction. As an outstanding leader in the building industry, he was appointed to organise and coordinate a somewhat uncertain and disorganised construction industry, struggling under the impact of huge defence projects additional to an active commercial and housing programme. James Fletcher was given wide and sweeping powers to stabilize labour and material costs – to manpower professions and the construction industry resources into essential government work.
Under his direction, the ‘Defence Schedule’ was introduced. This document was designed and administered by leading quantity surveyors (such as Messrs Frank Tomlinson) and was an attempt to stabilize building costs on a basis of measured quantities and agreed on unit cost rates. Although it fell short of what is expected of a Schedule of Quantities, it was probably the most significant document of the time in that it introduced hundreds of contractors throughout New Zealand to the essentials of measurement and analysis of unit costs for buildings.
It may have been the shortcomings of the Defence Schedule and the concerns of those who administered and contracted under its terms that sparked off a small band of enthusiasts to try to improve nationally, the somewhat ‘hit and miss’ methods prevalent in buying and selling construction in the industry.
Impromptu discussions in Wellington took place even though all quantity surveyors were heavily committed, with acute shortages – manpower, food, rationing, with defence call-ups and it was agreed that to delay the organised introduction of professional quantity surveying on a national basis, could be foolhardy or even disastrous.
The first recorded informal meeting took place on 21 April 1943. Attendees at the informal meeting were Messrs Brosnan, Chambers, Drysdale, Flynn, Gardner, George, AH Jones, McCutcheon, O’Meeghan, AE Powrie, Russell, J Stewart, J Tennet and FL Tomlinson.
At the inaugural meeting 12 May 1943, at Dominion Farmers Institute building, Featherston Street, Wellington. There were 29 attendees from Wellington, 1 from Christchurch and 3 from Napier. F Tomlinson was appointed temporary Chairman and GC Russell as temporary Secretary.
The NZIQS Logo
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What do the various components of the logo represent?
Centre Cross – Is the stylised Cross of St George – representing the defense of truth and justice
Top right quadrant – Balanced scales for equity and justice in work
Bottom right quadrant – The kiwi fern symbol surrounded by the four main stars of the Southern Cross – representing NZ
Bottom left quadrant – Quill and parchment
Top left quadrant – Surveyor’s Theodolite - Transferred directly from part of the Building Surveyors Institute logo to represent the merger with the previous QSINZ and the Building Surveyors Institute in 1978
The Origin, Evolution and Practice of the Quantity Surveyor
A Brief History of early English Quantity Surveying