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Construction industry regulator cracks down on ‘cowboys’

23 March 2016

Construction industry regulator cracks down on ‘cowboys’ in Marlborough

Now more than ever, Tradespeople need to make sure they hold a current licence.

Construction sector regulator, the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board, are warning tradespeople that it has appointed two new investigators, and there will be regular visits to the region for the purpose of looking into reports of unauthorised work being conducted in the area.

The Board’s Chief Executive, Martin Sawyers said; “People carrying out sanitary plumbing, gasfitting or dranlaying work who are not registered with the Board, are undercutting licensed tradespeople and putting public health and safety at risk.”

The recent release of the Board’s mobile application R.A.C (report-a-cowboy) is now doing its job and is assisting in identifying areas where unlawful activity is taking place.

“Reports are coming through, and the investigations team are taking immediate action – if you are working unlawfully expect a knock on your door soon”, Martin warned.

PGDB Investigator, Jayson Thomas, an ex-police officer of 13 years with most of his career spent as an investigator in the Criminal Investigation Branch, visited the Marlborough region this week. He said there had recently been an amnesty to let people who may have let their registration lapse, sign up again. However, that has now ended – and there’s no longer an excuse to not hold a licence.

Mr Thomas has met with commercial operators, and has been getting out and about with Marlborough District Council inspectors. Jayson also reported that the Board is looking at those who have been working under an exemption licence for a long period of time without the appropriate supervision.

Plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers need to be aware that the new licence year is fast approaching – and begins as of 1 April 2016.

Tradespeople need to carry a current authorisation card – and consumers should ask for it to protect themselves.

“Homeowners should be aware that engaging in the services of those who are not registered or hold a current licence issued by the Board, may also be invalidating their insurance policy”, Chief Executive, Martin Sawyers added.

You can check to see if a person is authorised by searching our online public register at or phone us on 0800 743 262.

If a homeowner believes that work has been done by someone who is not authorised, or has concerns about the competency of tradespeople, they can make a complaint to the Board. Download the R.A.C app through the App Store and Google Play, or go to the Board’s website


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