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Beware unauthorised trade work

Media release
10 May, 2018

Property owners are being warned for a second time this month not to fall into the trap of using unlicensed people to conduct plumbing work on renovation projects.

Yesterday in the Christchurch District Court, Aigus Vanags, after submitting a guilty plea, was sentenced to a $675 fine for carrying out restricted plumbing work without authorisation. He was ordered to pay $130 in Court costs and $226 for solicitor’s fees.

Sanitary plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying are regulated industries in New Zealand, and it is illegal to do this restricted work unless authorised by the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board (PGDB). Authorised tradespeople must carry the NZ Practice Licence.

Construction company owner, Mr Vanags completed a bathroom renovation, which included moving the bathroom vanity to a different wall in the bathroom. In doing so, he extended the water supply pipe by one meter and moved the hot and cold water pipes for the taps. He also reconnected the bath wastepipe under the bath plug hole to the drain pipe.

Unauthorised restricted sanitary plumbing work carries a maximum fine of $10,000. The risks are high - and you may be invalidating your insurance policy.

“ Martin Sawyers, Chief Executive for the PGDB said: “To stay safe and avoid the risk it takes one simple action – ask to sight a licence card. It states the credentials of a tradesperson and the type of work they are authorised to carry out.”

“It is important for homeowners to know that plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying work undertaken by unauthorised tradespeople, not only risks their family’s health and safety – but may also invalidate their insurance policy.”

The PGDB is the statutory body which regulates the trades to ensure those providing the services are competent and safe.

Backing the PGDB’s efforts to protect consumers and to extinguish unlawful activity, the New Zealand Insurance Council also warns;" The use of unregistered and unqualified persons to do sanitary plumbing, gasfitting or drainage work on an insured property may invalidate the property’s insurance cover in the event of a loss resulting from the work undertaken. Always ask to sight a tradesman’s authorisation card before work is undertaken – they are required to produce it.”

Ends

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