From the Waikato Times (not online but the Herald story is):
REALTOR TICKED OFF OVER AD
A Coromandel real estate agent has been found guilty of falsely advertising a house as being designed by an architect. But Robert Mosen of Richardsons Real Estate, operating in the Coromandel, has escaped further punishment after the Real Estate Agents Authority found the offence was at the lower end of the scale.
The authority’s complaints’ assessment committee said the advertisement could have misled prospective buyers and resulted in an inflated price.
“The general public when dealing with real estate agents has the right to expect that the information they present is true and accurate,” committee chairman Stuart Rose said.
There was a general perception that houses designed by architects were well designed and were of a higher than average quality, Mr Rose said. “These houses command a premium price in the market place because of these factors.”
A complaint was brought against Mr Mosen after a man emailed him asking who the architect was. After finding out the designer was not a registered architect the man made a complaint to the authority which Mr Mosen defended.
“I maintain that nowhere have I misrepresented the property and (I) acted in good faith when placing this advertisement,” Mr Mosen told the committee.
“I maintain that the building was designed by an architect, and I quote Webster’s Concise English Dictionary, ‘a person who designs buildings and supervises [their] erection.”
The committee believed the offence was at the lower end of the scale and issued no further punishment apart from its guilty finding.
The Registered Architects Act 2005 (you can download a PDF of it here) states:
7 Protection of titles registered architect and architect
(1) No person, other than a registered architect, may use in connection with his or her business, trade, employment, calling, or profession—
(a) the title ‘ ‘registered architect’ ’; or
(b) any words, initials, or abbreviations of that title that are intended to cause, or that may reasonably cause, any person to believe that the person using those words, initials, or abbreviations is a registered architect.
(2) No person who designs buildings, prepares plans and speciﬁcations for buildings, or supervises the construction of buildings may use the title ‘ ‘architect’ ’ unless he or she is a registered architect. [. . . ]
(4) A person who contravenes subsection (1) or subsection (2) commits an offence, and is liable on summary conviction to a ﬁne not exceeding $10,000.
So it doesn’t matter what the dictionary says – if the building was not designed by a registered architect, then you can’t say it was designed by an architect. It comes as a surprise that not only Mr Mosen, a licensed real estate agent, but also the Real Estate AgentAuthority, a Crown entity, seem unaware of this.