Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board

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Plumbing and who can do it

When we turn on the tap to pour ourselves a drink, most of us would not give the water's quality a second thought or for that matter would we consider where water ends up when we've finished using it. Society itself depends on the safe delivery and removal of water

History has proven time and again that without regulatory control poor sanitary plumbing can result in sickness and even death. For this reason, registered plumbers are considered at the forefront of New Zealand’s primary health protection.

What is sanitary plumbing?

Sanitary plumbing is any work involved in fixing or unfixing any pipe, plumbing fixture or appliance including; any trap, waste or soil pipe, ventilation pipe, or overflow pipe and any pipe that supplies or is intended to supply water.

All sanitary plumbing must comply with the Building Code and, where a building consent is required; the work must be checked by the building inspector from the building control authority in your area (your local council). A code compliance certificate cannot be issued until the work has been signed off by the building inspector.

A certifying plumber is responsible for the testing, verification and the supervision of tradesman plumbers, Journeyman plumbers, limited certificate (trainee plumbers) and exempted persons.

Sanitary plumbing does not include the installation of appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines; the replacement or repair of taps, ball valves and plugs.

Who can undertake sanitary plumbing?

Authorisation type
Licence category 1st Tier | Certifying plumber
The highest qualification available. These people are qualified and registered. They are responsible for ensuring both their own work and the work of anyone they supervise is done competently.

2nd Tier | Tradesman plumber
These people are qualified and registered and usually work independently.  However, a nominated certifying tradesperson (supervisor), is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the work is done competently.

3rd Tier | Journeyman plumber
These people have completed a trade qualification but have not passed the Board's licensing exam.  They are registered and authorised.  

Training | Limited certificate trainee plumber
These are people who are working towards becoming qualified. They can do the work but must be supervised by a certifying person who is ultimately responsible for ensuring the work is done competently.
Exemption for plumbing under supervision Exemptions
These people are not registered and don't have a full qualification, but they can do plumbing work provided they are supervised by a certifying person (direct supervision for the first two years), who must ensure that the work is done competently.

Other Information

Don't risk it! 

The health and safety danger is high and you may be invalidating your insurance.

Experts warn fitting a water filter can be illegal and carry a big sting in the tail. Water filters have become increasingly common in our houses and offices but it's not well known they need to be installed by a licensed plumber.

See more @

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board

Phone: 0800 743 262, Email:, Post: PO Box 10655, The Terrace, Wellington 6143
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