Time to change

Time to change

In April, Harrison Grierson Independent Director, Elena Trout, completed her term as President of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ), where she led its 19,000 members across the country. Elena is the second woman in IPENZ's 100 year history to hold this position. Elena is a professional civil engineer with extensive experience as a company director, project director and consultant. Elena joined the Harrison Grierson Board in June 2014.

It was very humbling to be elected by my peers to lead the body representing the engineering profession comprising 19,000 engineers across the country. I often reflect on the 101 Presidents that have gone before me, particularly when introducing a bold new change of direction.

At the start of my year as President, I said engineers are building a New Zealand to be proud of. Over the last 12 months, I’ve had countless opportunities to reaffirm how true that is. Engineers are rightly proud of the work they do, providing huge value to our communities and engineering a better life for Kiwis.

However, engineering has changed. As President, I knew it was time to take an honest and objective look at the profession and to identify where we can improve. So, working with the Board and senior leaders, new initiatives were introduced to increase the recognition, impact, connection and credibility of engineers. The initiatives were aimed at putting more focus on the future and our members’ ongoing needs, while acknowledging our past and being proud of our heritage.

As the Board and leadership team puts these decisions into action, you’ll see IPENZ become an increasingly confident industry leader with an outward focus; a proactive advocate for engineers and the profession. At times, what we say and do may draw criticism, but we won’t be afraid to speak up.

Our new strategy underpins all our work. It’s based on four pillars: connection, credibility, influence and recognition. As we connect within our industry and across society and work hard to influence government and shape the national agenda, we’ll be increasing recognition of engineers’ fundamental contribution to society and growing public confidence and trust in the work our profession does.


This thought leadership article by Elena Trout, an independent director of Harrison Grierson, is intended to provide you with insights and relevant information on her time as President of IPENZ. Our thought leadership articles on topical and specialist issues are designed to present the key points in and easy to digest and interesting manner.

Back to HG Perspective