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Further prosecutions of unlicensed electrical workers

Media Release

1 July 2014

Further prosecutions of unlicensed electrical workers

An Auckland man who directed his employee to carry out unlicensed electrical work is the latest person to be convicted and fined under the Electricity Act 1992.

This brings the number of prosecutions brought by the Electrical Workers Registration Board (EWRB) to 13 over the past twelve months.

EWRB Registrar John Sickels says on 19 June, Paul Talataina pleaded guilty in the Waitakere District Court to two charges of holding himself out to be a registered and licensed electrical worker and issuing a certificate of compliance in relation to prescribed electrical work when he wasn’t authorised to certify the work.

“The charges date back to June 2011, where the defendant directed his employee to do prescribed electrical work at a Te Atatu property, which involved the rerouting of wires in the ceiling to accommodate the installation of eco-insulation. The employee was not authorised to carry out the work and the defendant was not authorised to supervise it, because neither was a registered and licensed electrician.”

Paul Talataina was fined $2,100 and ordered to pay solicitor’s costs and court costs.

This latest conviction follows two other recent prosecutions brought by the EWRB.

On 17 March, Kyle Mack pleaded guilty in the Whangarei District Court to five charges of performing unauthorised prescribed electrical work, under the Electricity Act 1992.

John Sickels says, “The charges related to five separate occasions between October 2011 and March 2012 when the defendant performed unauthorised prescribed electrical work alongside repairs and maintenance of refrigeration equipment at a local butchery and farm. Mr Mack was fined $2,000 and was ordered to pay reparation of $1,361.48, court costs, and solicitor’s costs.”

On 2 May 2014, Classic Horse Coaches, of Dannevirke, was found guilty in the Dannevirke District Court of doing unauthorised prescribed electrical work under the Electricity Act 1992 and intentionally or negligently doing or permitting to be done, gasfitting work in a manner that is dangerous to life under the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Act 2006.

Mr Sickels says, “The defendant carried out gasfitting and prescribed electrical work on custom horse trucks in 2010 without being authorised to do so. He was fined $23,000 for the gasfitting work and ordered to pay solicitor’s costs and court costs. In sentencing Classic Horse Coaches, the judge indicated that a fine of $1,500 would have been arrived at for the unauthorised prescribed electrical work, however having regard for the totality of the offending and the substantial fine imposed for the gasfitting work, the judge convicted Classic Horse Coaches on the unauthorised prescribed electrical work charge and ordered them to pay solicitor’s costs and court costs.

The EWRB was established in 1992 and is responsible for the ongoing competency of more than 30,000 registered electrical and electronic workers in New Zealand.

John Sickels says, “The role of the EWRB is to help keep consumers safe and ensure that high quality electrical work is being carried out across New Zealand. These latest prosecutions show that the EWRB is working hard to uphold its promise to New Zealanders.”

The EWRB’s new mobile-friendly website aims to make life easier for both consumers and electricians. It contains everything electricians need to know about certification requirements, and everything consumers need to know about what electrical work can be done by a non-professional and what needs to be carried out by a registered electrician.

ENDS

Visit the website here: http://www.ewrb.govt.nz/


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