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Illegal work in the Coromandel leads to $1800 fine

Illegal work in the Coromandel leads to $1800 fine

A Coromandel boat builder was fined $1,800 in the Thames District Court last week, following a building inspection by the local Council at a home in Thames.

In a judgment released today by the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board (PGDB), it was revealed that Brett Wright was convicted and fined for doing unauthorised sanitary plumbing.
In September last year, Mr Wright did work on extending water supply pipework to a bath, shower, toilet and vanity unit. He also installed a shower mixer, and extended waste water pipework from the bathroom vanity to the drainage pipework.

When a Building Control Officer for the Hauraki District Council inspected the property for the building consent, he noticed Mr Wright was not authorised to carry out the plumbing work, and notified the Board.

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

There are serious health and safety risks associated with sanitary plumbing carried out by an unauthorised person. Any defective plumbing work has the potential to cause disease and serious damage to the home.

The Board’s Chief Executive, Max Pedersen, warns all people undertaking sanitary plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying work to make sure they are authorised to do so.

“Homeowners should not risk their family’s health and safety or their insurance by having this work undertaken by unauthorised people. Local Councils play a part in helping the Board identify illegal operators in the community—if you are working without authorisation you will get caught”, he continued.

Tradespeople need to carry their current authorisation card and consumers should always ask to see it before any work commences. This way, they can be assured that the work is being done by someone who is competent and authorised by the Board.

If a homeowner or building control officer believes that work has been done by someone who is not authorised, they can make a complaint to the Board. You can check to see if a plumber, gasfitter or drainlayer is authorised to carry out the work and the limitations of licence classes by logging on to the PGDB’s website at”.

Mr Wright pleaded guilty to the charge in the Thames District Court, was fined $1,800, and ordered to pay $130 court costs, and a solicitor’s fee of $113. He is not a registered plumber, but has since gained authorisation to do limited sanitary plumbing under the supervision of a registered certifying plumber. This means all work must be tested and verified by his supervisor.


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