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Consumers should be on the lookout for illegal operators

4 September, 2015


Auckland consumers should be on the lookout for illegal operators

An Auckland man has been convicted and fined $1,200 plus court costs and solicitors fees for providing information that was intended to cause, or may reasonably have caused, a homeowner to think he was a registered or licensed tradesperson.

Plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying are regulated industries in New Zealand and it is illegal for anyone to do this work unless they are authorised to do so by the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board.

Geoffrey McKenzie of Eden Plumbing Ltd, misled consumers in the Auckland region with information on Facebook, and two online directory listings that created the impression that he was registered or licensed to undertake sanitary plumbing work.

This prosecution resulted from a Board investigation following a complaint by a legitimately registered and authorised certifying plumber, gasfitter and drainlayer.

The Board’s Chief Executive, Martin Sawyers said: “The growth in building consent applications is positively impacting the construction sector nationwide, but this is particularly evident in Auckland.”

“As a result consumers should be on the lookout for illegal operators. History tells us that with the increase in jobs, there is always an increase in the number of illegal operators appearing.”

“The health and safety risks associated with plumbing carried out by an unauthorised person are serious. Any defective work has the potential to cause disease and serious damage to the property–and may invalidate your insurance.”

“The Board will continue to keep a watchful eye in relation to unlicensed workers in the Auckland region,” Mr Sawyers added.

All authorised tradespeople are required to carry their current authorisation card. Consumers should ask tradespeople for this card before any work commences. This way they can be assured that the work is being done by an authorised and competent tradesperson.

If a homeowner believes that work has been done by someone who is not authorised, or has concerns about the competency of tradespeople, they can make a complaint to the Board.

Ends

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