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Policing Installation

16 March 2016

You can’t police product quality – but you can police installation

Current discussion around the use of non-standard poor quality plumbing products highlights the need for consumers to ensure that those performing plumbing work are properly authorised.

Construction sector regulator, the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board, are warning the public to check the credentials of tradespeople before engaging their services.

It is important to know that work undertaken by unlicensed people, not only risks health and safety – but may also invalidate insurance policies.

The Board’s Chief Executive, Martin Sawyers said; “One of the ways the public can ensure that the plumbing products being installed meet the New Zealand Standards is to check that the plumber is licensed. Licensed plumbers have an

obligation to only install products that meet the standards required by the Building Code.”

“Their training ensures that they are able to identify what products meet that standard, and they know that if they install products that don’t meet that standard then they are legally liable and may also face disciplinary action from the Board.”

“Unfortunately there are a number of people offering plumbing services who are untrained and unlicensed. Those people are not trained and will not have any scruples in installing products that are not of the required standard”, said Martin.

To stay safe and avoid any risk it takes one simple action. Ask the tradesperson for their authorisation card issued by the PGDB – they are required to produce it.

Backing the Board’s efforts to extinguish unlawful activity within local communities is a free for download mobile app R.A.C (report-a-cowboy).

An ‘industry first’ – it is designed to quickly deal with illegal work within the construction sector, and consumers who wish to make a complaint about defective work or products should use it.

The app allows consumers to submit photo or video evidence, such as illegal work sites and false advertising on vans. It also has the ability to log GPS coordinates for quick deployment of the industry’s policing and investigations team.

Download the R.A.C app through the App Store and Google Play, or go to the Board's website

The PGDB’s public awareness campaign efforts are endorsed by the New Zealand Insurance Council who 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.”

Sanitary plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying are regulated industries in New Zealand, and it is illegal to do this restricted work unless authorised by the PGDB. The PGDB is the statutory body which regulates the trades to ensure those providing the services are competent and safe.

The PGDB works with the NZ Insurance Council, EQC, Consumer NZ, The Citizens Advice Bureau, web directories such, the Yellow home maintenance app, Build & Renovate Today magazine, MICO Bathrooms, Plumbing World, My Plumbing Depot, licensed practitioners and local councils throughout New Zealand to help ensure consumer awareness responsibilities are met.


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