Symposium 2023 – Welcome

NZSOLD 2023 Symposium and Workshop

13 & 14 November 2023
Te Pae convention centre, Ōtautahi Christchurch, New Zealand


Register Now

It is my pleasure to invite members of NZSOLD, as well as members of our wider community, to join us in Ōtautahi Christchurch on Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 November 2023 for our Symposium and Workshop titled “Navigating change in NZ dam safety practice: Updates, opportunities, and challenges”.


Our industry is at a pivotal juncture as we prepare for the Government’s Building (Dam Safety) Regulations 2022 (“the regulations”) to come into force in May 2024.

Significant activities and dialogues are underway across technical, regulatory, and industry sectors. NZSOLD is currently in the process of updating the New Zealand Dam Safety Guidelines (NZDSG) to encompass the latest advancements in industry practice, while concurrently ensuring alignment with the regulations. This update to the NZDSG seeks to improve the effectiveness and coherence of our guidelines in light of evolving regulatory requirements.

In parallel, Engineering New Zealand has modified its framework for registering Chartered Professional Engineers (CPEng) to include Recognised Engineers, who will be responsible for auditing and certifying Potential Impact Classifications (PICs) and Dam Safety Assurance Programmes (DSAPs) under the regulations.

Dam owners, practitioners, regulators, and the wider community are faced with an opportunity to enhance dam safety management and improve the systems that support critical infrastructure in New Zealand. As our nation faces climate change and population growth, we have an opportunity to improve the management of the thousands of dams that provide New Zealanders with power, water, and flood resilience. However, these changes in both regulation and industry practices present challenges for our communities and industry sectors. These challenges include aspects such as organisational change, recruitment, resource availability, and affordability.

What we choose to do now has the potential to set precedent for decades to come.

Event format and objectives

The two-day programme will comprise a hybrid of a “symposium” with embedded interactive “workshop” elements throughout.

The objectives of the symposium and workshop are:

  1. To share and build knowledge about the updates to NZSOLD’s New Zealand Dam Safety Guidelines, with a focus on those modules that will support NZSOLD members with the regulations.
  2. To provide a forum for industry dialogue regarding the transition to dam safety management under the Government’s regulations.  

Further to point 2 above, this event cannot resolve every question or concern related to implementation of the regulations. However, there will be a chance to hear perspectives from invited experts and other attendees, including concerns, considerations, and preparations.  Workshopping and panel sessions will provide a chance to share your own perspective regarding the upcoming changes.  Following the Symposium and Workshop, themes emerging from interactive sessions will be collated by NZSOLD and shared with relevant parties to create opportunity for collaborative resolution and improvements.

Event audience

The symposium and workshop will include useful content and appeal to attendees with a wide range of experience levels, including:

  • Dam owners and operators.
  • Technical practitioners.
  • Regulators.


The 2023 Symposium and Workshop will be a timely opportunity to catch up with others in the industry. NZSOLD will share advances in practice through our updates to the New Zealand Dam Safety Guidelines, and we look forward to insightful discussion from a range of stakeholders regarding the upcoming regulations.

We warmly invite you to join us in Ōtautahi Christchurch and look forward to reconnecting with colleagues and friends in November.

Kaley Crawford-Flett

Thank you to our sponsors