A roading contractor jailed for bribing Auckland Transport and Rodney District Council officials has been booted out of New Zealand's engineering professional body.
Stephen Borlase, former managing director of engineering company Projenz, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison at the end of 2016.
Borlase' High Court trial and that of former Auckland Transport senior manager Murray Noone revealed that Projenz paid more than $1m to council staff. In turn, the company saw a rapid rise in council contracts that pushed modest revenue into the tens of millions.
The court heard evidence of a culture of largesse in the council's roading division, as Projenz laid on long lunches for staff - including an eight-hour affair at upmarket eatery Euro that cost $5500.
Council staff were also treated to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of international holidays, fine wines and whiskeys and electronics.
After Borlase was jailed, New Zealand's professional body of engineers (IPENZ) launched an inquiry to see if there were grounds for disciplining him based on his convictions.
A disciplinary committee was convened and last September held a hearing where it was decided there were grounds for taking action despite the fact that the "quality of Mr Borlase's engineering was not at issue".
The committee, in its subsequent decision, pointed out that Borlase's offending took place over a seven-year period, and that it was dishonest, serious and calculated.
"This was not a one-off mistake...these factors taken together raise serious questions about Mr Borlase's ethics and professionalism and his actions, if condoned, would lower the standing of the profession in the eyes of the public," the disciplinary body said.
The comittee expelled Borlase from IPENZ and removed his registration as a chartered professional engineer.
"In conclusion, we reiterate our condemnation of Mr Borlase's conduct. Mr Borlase's conduct is at the extreme end of offending and falls significantly below the standards expected of chartered professional engineers and members of IPENZ," the committee said in its decision.