Australian regulatory authorities recognise the New Zealand qualifications(s) held by certifying or licensed plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers and will issue registration for the equivalent category.
If you are applying for registration in any Australian state you may be required to produce a verified copy of your registration certificate as well as a current New Zealand licence in support of your application.
The Australian regulatory authority will contact the New Zealand Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board to verify your details.
For more information contact the Australian Regulatory Authority, under whose jurisdiction you wish to work.
The New Zealand Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board recognises Australian qualifications held by registered plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers under the provisions of the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act (TTMRA) 1997 and will issue the equivalent registration.
Australian-qualified tradespeople who wish to apply for registration in New Zealand under the TTMRA should complete this application form.
Before starting the application process for registration, all applicants are encouraged to contact Immigration New Zealand regarding their eligibility to live and work in New Zealand. For further information, please visit http://www.immigration.govt.nz/
The process for an overseas person to become registered in New Zealand is the same for all three trades. This process will help you obtain registration as a ‘licensed’ tradesperson in New Zealand and is in accordance with the following Gazette notices: the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Board (Plumbing Registration and Licensing) Notice 2010, the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Board (Gasfitters Registration and Licensing) Notice 2010; and the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Board (Drainlayers Registration and Licensing) Notice 2010 (“Gazette notices”).
In summary, in order to obtain registration in New Zealand you must:
a) Document assessment
The first step towards registration in New Zealand is to obtain an International Qualifications Assessment of your qualifications from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA)*. More information about this (including timeframes and fees) is available at http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/. Please note that an NZQA ‘pre-assessment result’ (also known as a PAR) is not accepted for the purposes of this assessment.
b) Board interview
Following the receipt of your application, the Board will contact you to arrange a time for an interview. Interviews are usually conducted by telephone and can be carried out while you are still in your country of origin. Interviews are intended to verify documentation and to validate your experience and technical proficiency.
Once the initial assessment and interview have taken place, the Board will advise you if you are a suitable person to continue on this pathway for overseas candidates applying to become registered in New Zealand; or alternatively if you need to obtain a New Zealand National Certificate qualification with a training provider.
If you are to continue on the registration pathway for an overseas candidate, the next step is to sit and pass the Board’s registration examination for the relevant trade. Examinations are held throughout New Zealand in June and November of each year. All examinations must be sat in New Zealand. The examination fee is NZD$411 per trade. More information, including past tests, examination dates and locations is available here.
The practical test of workmanship is an assessment of an applicant’s competencies as they relate to the standard competencies required for a registered person in that trade in New Zealand. The practical test of workmanship is usually undertaken at an applicant’s place of employment in New Zealand and the fee for this test is NZD$1,410, irrespective of how many trades you apply for.
The overseas registration process is recommended for people who have permanent residence in New Zealand. If you intend to visit New Zealand on a working holiday or temporary visa, depending on your needs, the timeframes and costs involved in this process may be impracticable, However, you may be able to work in the trade as an unregistered tradesperson on an ‘exemption under supervision’. This is an authorisation that allows an unregistered tradesperson carry out work under the supervision of a ‘certifying’ tradesperson. Please contact the Board for more information regarding eligibility for an exemption for sanitary plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying from supervision and the requirements of supervision.
Should an overseas-trained tradesperson wish to work in New Zealand, they must first find employment in New Zealand. Once employment is obtained, an applicant can apply to the Board for an authorisation (typically an exemption or a provisional licence) to be issued.
Exemption under supervision
Please note that an application for an exemption can only be made by a certifying tradesperson for the person they are supervising.
The Board may issue an exemption under supervision to a person who is ineligible for registration according to the minimum standards outlined in the Gazette notices. However, a person holding such an exemption must work in the presence of a registered person for two years and cannot work independently.
Generally these exemptions are issued to people who have not completed the initial interview phase of the registration process, or where an applicant does not meet the New Zealand equivalency for registration.
Currently, the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Act 2006 (“the Act”) makes provision for a non-registered person to work in the industry as the holder of a provisional licence on the basis that they have applied for registration. If you are accepted to continue on this pathway to become registered following the initial assessment, you will be invited to apply for registration. While you work towards passing the examination and practical test for registration, you will be able to work subject to a ‘provisional licence’.
As the holder of a provisional licence you must nominate a certifying person who will supervise all work undertaken by you in the trade for which you are being assessed for registration. The provisional licence authorises the holder to do, or assist in doing, the work that is specified in the application for registration as a licenced tradesperson that is pending consideration by the Board.
Once an applicant has successfully passed the relevant examinations and practical test of workmanship, they can apply for registration. Once approved for registration by the Board, a practising licence for the licensing period will be issued.
All of the Board’s fees are set out in the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Board (Fee and Disciplinary Levy) Notice 2013. All fees include GST.