Who are we?

About the institute

Healthcare engineering is the branch of engineering specialising in the management and delivery of technical services required in support of medical equipment, buildings and infrastructure used in the delivery of clinical services in hospitals and healthcare facilities.

The Institute had its beginning in the board room of the Wellington Hospital on the 6 October 1936 9.55 am.

At the first meeting of the Hospital Engineers in New Zealand, it was decided to form the “PUBLIC HOSPITAL ENGINEERS’ ASSOCIATION”.

There were 11 Engineers present and letters from 15 others signifying their intention of joining. These were all Chief Engineers of Hospital Boards of which there were many in those days.  These engineers were almost all steam men and mostly ex-marine engineers.

The Association has survived many changes in its more than 75 years of existence, at times being a cross between a professional body and a trade union.  It became the N.Z. Hospital Engineers’ Association to include private and psychiatric hospitals and other engineers, apart from Chief Engineers, who had qualifications, either mechanical or electrical and titles and responsibilities as Engineers.

With the demise of Boards and the all-controlling authority being in the hands of Chief Executive Officers, for a period chaos existed in some districts as building services and medical-technical services were handed over to private contractors and the engineering and technical departments closed.  Due to perseverance and enthusiasm and the capacity of members to absorb and build on these changes, we now have a very active and forward-looking Institute which encompasses most aspects of health facilities and biomedical engineering.

There is also a place for firms and people who supply and service the sophisticated equipment required in health engineering.

It is an Institute of which our founders would be very proud.