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Beware unauthorised trade work – don’t take the risk!

Property owners are being warned today not to fall into the trap of using unlicensed people to conduct plumbing or gasfitting work on renovation projects. Always ask to sight a NZ Practising Licence before any work begins.

Yesterday in the Hastings District Court, Robert Joseph, was sentenced to a $2,000 fine for carrying out restricted plumbing and gasfitting work without authorisation and was ordered to pay $130 in Court costs.

Mr Joseph carried out bedroom and bathroom alterations in a garage at a Hastings residence, which included the installation of a Bosch gas hot water system, a toilet, a shower unit, a washtub sink and taps, and the installation of a sink and taps in the outside lean-to.

Sanitary plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying are regulated industries in New Zealand, and it is illegal to do this restricted work unless authorised by the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board (PGDB).

The health and safety risks are high - and you may be invalidating your insurance policy. Only authorised tradespeople who carry a current NZ Practising Licence can carry out this work.

Mr Joseph was not a registered and licensed plumber or gasfitter, and not authorised to complete sanitary plumbing or gasfitting work.

The complainant found that work completed by Mr Joseph was substandard, and engaged a certified plumber who determined that the toilet installation was incorrect, and as a result, was leaking and experiencing backflush.

A certified gasfitter engaged in checking the gas hot water system found that the work was dangerous as a result of the incorrect installation.

Martin Sawyers, Chief Executive for the PGDB said: “To stay safe and avoid the risk, it takes one simple action – ask to sight a licence card. It states the credentials of a tradesperson and the type of work they are authorised to carry out.”

“It is important for homeowners to know that plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying work undertaken by unauthorised tradespeople, not only risks their family’s health and safety – but may also invalidate their insurance policy.”

The PGDB is the statutory body that regulates the trades to ensure those providing the services are competent and safe.

Backing the PGDB’s efforts to protect consumers and extinguish unlawful activity, the New Zealand Insurance Council also 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.”

Ends

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