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$5,250 fine reinforces message

28 September 2016

$5,250 fine reinforces message

Yesterday’s prosecution in the Palmerston North District Court reinforces the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board’s message to consumers, to make sure that they only use authorised tradespeople.

Wayne Gutschlag, pleaded guilty to a charge of unauthorised gasfitting and was sentenced to pay a $5,200 fine, $113 in solicitor’s fees and $130 in court costs.

Restricted plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying work conducted by anyone, who doesn’t hold a licence from the Board is illegal.

Martin Sawyers, Chief Executive for the Board said; ”Unauthorised people not only put public health and safety at risk ­– they may also be invalidating insurance policies.

The restricted gasfitting work was undertaken as part of a custom build of a float (caravan/trailer type vehicle), and was an accident waiting to happen.

The work included installation, fitting and connection of gas bottles, gas pipes, a gas regulator, a gas heater, a gas water-heater and a gas cooker.

The complainants in the case, who had contracted Mr Gutschlag to undertake the work, made a complaint to the Board after taking possession of the float and discovering that the gasfitting work was defective.

“This is one of many cases addressed by the Board where the complainant had simply assumed that the person engaged was legally authorised to do the work”, Martin continued.

“Tradespeople are required to carry a current authorisation card – and consumers should ask to sight it to protect themselves from any health and safety or insurance risk.”

You can check to see if a person is authorised by searching the online public register at www.pgdb.co.nz or by phoning 0800 743 262. If a consumer believes that work has been done by someone who is not authorised, or has concerns about the competency of a tradesperson, they should notify the Board.


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