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 is scheduled for the 16th of August 2014.

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.

Experts on Trial (Article in The Dominion Post Weekender, 15 December 2012)

The Dominion Post talked to several IPFI members regarding the effectiveness of expert evidence.The article can be viewed here.

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 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.



Immediate Past President

Professor Glynn Owens 

R Glynn Owens, Professor of Psychology, University of Auckland is the Immediate Past President of the IFPI. Formerly Professor of Forensic Clinical Psychology, University of Wales, UK. Has been involved in the forensic field for over 25 years, and is a former Chair of the British Psychological Society’s Forensic Division Training Committee. Has been involved in criminal court cases in the UK and New Zealand, relating to charges ranging from shoplifting to murder. Expertise covers a range of areas including the reliability of witness/defendant statements, psychological factors in mitigation, psychological autopsy and other matters.

Secretary & Treasurer

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.


Committee Members


Dr Ian Miller

Dr Ian Miller is a Registered Psychologist who was previously employed by New Zealand Police (1985-2002) and the Department of Justice (1976-1985). Ian graduated in 1971 from the University of Canterbury with a B.Sc (Hons) in Psychology and a Ph.D in 1978.


Ian has worked as a consultant since 2002. His work includes provision of expert advice to government agencies, NGO’s, the private sector, legal firms, and others. He has extensive experience in –
• Crisis and emergency management
• Occupational stress, trauma, and health and safety
• Strategic policy development
• Specialist training and management of sensitive issues
• Applied research.


Special areas of interest are behavioural factors affecting fire safety and implications for at risk groups, management of problematic complainants, and issues affecting coronial investigations into fatalities and emergency services responses


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.

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.


Jane Brennan