Prosecutions underline importance of consumer vigilance
August 1 2013
Prosecutions underline importance of consumer vigilance, warns ECANZ
Recent prosecutions of unregistered people carrying out electrical work underline the importance of new law changes, says the Electrical Contractors Association of New Zealand.
Four unregistered people have appeared in court in the last month following separate investigations by the Electrical Workers Registration Board (EWRB), which is operated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
Under new legislation that came into force in July, all electricians carrying out prescribed electrical work on an electrical installation must provide a Certificate of Compliance or an Electrical Safety Certificate to the customer.
Neville Simpson, Chief Executive of ECANZ, said that is crucial that homeowners check that the person who will be carrying out electrical work for them is licensed and that they provide the correct certification.
One of those prosecuted, in Porirua, had made out he was a registered electrician and did electrical work on a commercial basis.
“Apart from the safety aspects, homeowners could also face problems insuring or selling properties if they do not obtain certification for electrical installation work,” said Mr Simpson.
“Previously an electrical contractor was only required to issue a certificate of compliance for new installations that are deemed to be either general risk or high risk prescribed electrical work.”
Under the new regulations, that also applies to any low risk work, usually maintenance or replacement work on existing properties, and an electrical safety certificate will be required.
“Your electrical contractor is legally required to provide you with a certificate of compliance or an electrical safety certificate depending on the risk level of the work, and if they don’t offer you should be asking for one.”
The four prosecutions, in Thames, Whangarei, Wellington and Porirua, resulted in fines totalling $16,000.
ECANZ members issue the organisation’s branded Certificate of Compliance which also carries a $10,000 workmanship guarantee. If a customer is not satisfied with a members’ work they can ask ECANZ for support in resolving the situation.
ECANZ has a membership of 1,250 electrical contracting businesses. Members are required to demonstrate very high levels of professionalism and carry a minimum of $5 million public liability insurance to operate under the organisation’s MASTERelectricians scheme.