IFPI Independent Forensic Practitioners Institute


The Independent Forensic Practitioners Institute was formed in March 2006 and was established to answer the need for an organisation of independent practitioners undertaking a wide range of forensic work in New Zealand.

Members of the Institute act independently providing expert services across the spectrum of civil and criminal proceedings and are not precluded from appearing for the defence or prosecution.

The Objects of The Institute are:
i) To provide and promote independent forensic expertise in the public interest;
ii) To recognize and promote members' qualifications, expertise and experience;
iii) To foster a professional relationship and understanding among Independent practitioners;
iv) To promote the services available from members to potential clients, and to educate potential clients on the best use of members' services;
v) To ensure that the services provided by members meet appropriate professional and ethical standards


The IFPI AGM was held on 15 August 2015 in Auckland at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Herne Bay, Auckland.

Many thanks to those members who attended.

Registering on the IFPI User's Forum

The IFPI User's Forum is restricted to IFPI members only. Due to the high volume of attempted registrations by spammers, user registration for the forum has been temporarily suspended. If you are an IFPI member and wish to register for the forum please contact Tim Stevenson.

Chief Censor's Talk - 2012

The Chief Censor has given a talk on the legal implications of some of the case-related material which many of us work with. Members who work with, possess, or are otherwise involved with material which is potentially 'objectionable' or illegal may wish to hear what the Chief Censor has to say. An audio file of the talk can be downloaded here.

IFPI Executive Committee


Dr Peter Cropp

After graduating from Victoria University Peter was employed by the DSIR, (later ESR) as a forensic scientist specializing in forensic biology. During this career he appeared as an expert witness in many criminal cases. He became an expert in crime scene examination and blood pattern interpretation and was scientific advisor for the first Scene of Crime Officers (SOCO’s) course for the NZ Police. In 1988 he trained at the Home Office in Britain to introduce DNA as a forensic science tool in New Zealand.


In 1997 Peter became an independent forensic science consultant offering the following areas of expertise:
• Crime Scene evaluation and forensic photography.
• Re-examining scientific evidence – Blood spatter and DNA results.
• Identification of human blood and semen stains.


Vice President

Dr Nick Powell


Nick is a forensic scientist and director of Forensic & Industrial Science Limited. He holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Forensic Science and a PhD in Geology from the University of Otago, New Zealand.

Nick is a Professional Member of the Royal Society of New Zealand and holds a licence pursuant to the Radiation Protection Act 1965 to operate irradiating apparatus for X-ray analysis. Nick is an experienced expert witness and is accustomed to giving technical evidence in civil, criminal and Admiralty cases on physical, chemical and trace evidence.

Nick and his colleagues specialize in recovery and quantitative analysis of methamphetamine contamination in former clandestine laboratories.

Immediate Past President

Dr Arie Geursen ONZM 

Dr Arie Geursen is a founding Member of the Independent Forensic Practitioners Institute.


Since DNA profiling as first used in New Zealand in 1990, Dr Geursen has assisted in numerous criminal cases by providing expert evidence where DNA profiling was pivotal to the case. In addition he has assisted two Ministerial Enquiries into matters of concern with DNA profiling in New Zealand.


He is renowned for his role in pointing out the defects in the prosecution’s DNA evidence in the case of David Dougherty, who was wrongly convicted of rape in 1993.


He has been a guest lecturer for the University of Otago Faculty of Law on the challenges presented by complex scientific evidence in criminal cases.


In 2012 he was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to science.



Andrew McGregor


Andrew McGregor is the Director of Prosolve Ltd, (www.prosolve.co.nz) a company which offers forensic and in depth investigative engineering services in New Zealand and the Pacific. Andrew is a Chartered Professional Mechanical Engineer with experience in a wide range of New Zealand industries. He has trained as an air accident investigator at Cranfield University (UK) and investigated high profile air accidents both in New Zealand and offshore. A summary of his company’s services is:

Construction & Industrial Plant: Safety incidents, delay and disruption analysis. Boiler failures, explosions, fires. Gas and steam turbine failures, performance issues. Dairy process failures, milk-powder drier fires, product losses. Reciprocating engine and rotating machinery failures.

Marine: Hull corrosion, cargo losses, early vessel history, collision reconstruction and simulation.

Aviation: Rotary and fixed wing air accident investigation, wreckage plot distributions, composite material failure analysis, Human Factors, Organisational Accident Analysis.


Michael Rhodes




Committee Members (listed in no particular order)

Linda Morrell 

Linda Morrell is a Forensic Document Examiner previously employed by The Laboratory of the Government Chemist in London. Linda graduated in 1988 from University of Ulster with a B.Sc (Hons) in Biological Chemistry and in 1989 received an M.Sc in Forensic Science from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland. Now in private practice in New Zealand, Linda conducts in-house lectures, runs training workshops and provides expert services for various legal firms, corporations and government departments.


In the course of her 17 years in the field of forensic document examination she has been continually instructed in and practiced all areas of the subject including:
• Identification of handwriting, signatures, typewriting, printers and printed matter;
• Distinguishing forgery from genuineness;
• Analyzing inks, papers and other substances that are combined into documents;
• Detection of additions and substitutions on a document;
• Restoration or decipherment of erased and obliterated writing.


Dr Tim Stevenson 


Tim Stevenson is a self-employed forensic engineer based in Christchurch. He has a Bachelor of Engineering and a Ph.D., both of which are in Mechanical Engineering and from the University of Canterbury, NZ.


Since 2001 Tim has provided the Crown, Government Departments, criminal litigators and Coroners with a range of services, including:
• Physics analysis in criminal and civil litigation;
• Failure analysis o
f mechanical devices & machines;

Analysis of conceptual devices & machines;

Accident investigation involving passenger cars, heavy vehicles, motorcycles, pedal cyclists and pedestrians;

Analysis of sporting fatalities.

Neil Mackay

After a career as an aircraft engineer, Neil joined the Jersey Police, where he undertook specialist training to the UK national advanced level in road traffic crash investigation and reconstruction. On returning to New Zealand, he established VFR Consulting Ltd in 2004, providing independent expertise in the field of road traffic crash investigation for insurance companies, transport operators and legal firms.

Neil has given expert evidence in crash cases both as a Police officer overseas and as a private practitioner in the district, coronial and high courts of New Zealand.

Since returning to New Zealand, Neil has undertaken Fire Investigation training at the Charles Sturt University of NSW Australia and specialises in investigating the cause of fires in vehicles, plant and vessels.



Dr Matthew King