A man who faked his engineering credentials and oversaw construction on the CTV building, which killed 115 people when it collapsed in the Christchurch earthquake, has been linked with dozens of high-profile Australian projects.
Brisbane man Gerald Morton Shirtcliff, 67, spent 25 years masquerading as English engineer William Anthony Fisher, whom he worked with in South Africa.
The convicted fraudster was exposed in a Fairfax media investigation in New Zealand last month and has been revealed to have supervised dozens of Australian building projects over the last four decades.
On Channel Nine's 60 Minutes, the New Zealander was revealed to have worked on projects such as the 33-storey Sydney building that holds the iconic Kings Cross Coca-Cola sign.
He has allegedly conned his way into engineering projects by major Australian companies including Sedgman, WorleyParsons and Calibre Projects.
In a 2009 CV as Will Fisher, Shirtcliff claimed to have had key roles in the supervision of an open-cut gold mine in Ballarat and buildings at Loy Yang power station in Victoria, as well as being a senior engineer behind the 81-metre flagpole sitting atop the new Parliament House in Canberra.
Mr Shirtcliff oversaw the construction of the Canterbury Television building in Christchurch in 1986 but told the royal commission on the building's collapse that he had limited involvement with the project.
The royal commission has been told of a number of construction defects in the building that collapsed on February 22 last year, killing 115 people, when a 6.3-magnitude earthquake ripped through the city.
In 2005, Mr Shirtcliff was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 20 months' jail for forging bogus GST receipts for a failing automotive business and cheating a Christchurch family out of about $300,000.
He remains under investigation by Australian Federal Police and New Zealand Police and has been stripped of his Engineers Australia membership. Stephen Durkin, chief executive officer of Engineers Australia, said its internal investigation had ''provided evidence to suggest this member had misrepresented his engineering qualifications''.
The real Will Fisher, now retired, told 60 Minutes Mr Shirtcliff had been a “larger than life” character when they worked together and shared a flat in South Africa.
“It makes me feel pretty rotten; my name is stuck there like mud isn’t it? Part of my anxiety is what the hell else has he got up to?”
Mr Shirtcliff has strenuously denied all the allegations.
He told 60 Minutes that the 33-storey Kingsgate building in Kings Cross isn’t at any risk of collapse.
“It’s safe. Absolutely.”