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MEDIA RELEASE | Property owners urged to do ‘all’ the checks to avoid the traps

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[10-03-2021] The PGDB cautions homeowners today not to fall into the trap of using unlicensed people to conduct plumbing work for home maintenance or renovation projects. Yesterday, in the Auckland District Court, Michael Mullany, was sentenced to a $6,000 fine for carrying out restricted plumbing work without authorisation, and employing an unauthorised person to do or assist.

Property owners urged to do ‘all’ the checks to avoid the traps

The PGDB cautions homeowners today not to fall into the trap of using unlicensed people to conduct plumbing work for home maintenance or renovation projects.

An Auckland Council Compliance Investigator, in the course of conducting a site visit to a property, discovered Mr Mullany, owner and director of 5 Star Plumbing Ltd, doing restricted plumbing work with an employee, without a current licence. 

Mullany was approached by the Compliance Investigator and identified himself as the owner and boss of 5 Star Plumbing, and provided a licence number.  

At the time of the site visit, he was unauthorised to complete any sanitary plumbing work. The licence provided by Mullany allowing him to complete sanitary plumbing (under supervision only), had in fact expired the year prior.

Extensive plumbing work had been completed at the property, including the installation of hot and cold water piping, and foul water discharge pipes.  The work carried out was substandard, and would not have met the requirements of the NZ Building Code.

Martin Sawyers, Chief Executive for the PGDB said: “In particular, I want to give a clear warning to those blatantly misleading homeowners.  Plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying are regulated trades in New Zealand for a very good reason - they play a key role in protecting the health and safety of the public.   The fines are costly and you will get caught.”  

“My message to home owners is that it’s important to know that this work undertaken by unauthorised people, not only risks your health and safety – but may also invalidate your insurance policy.”

“It takes one simple action to stay safe, avoid any risk, and not be mislead by unauthorised people.  Ask to sight a licence. It states the credentials of a tradesperson and the type of work they are authorised to carry out - and importantly the current date.  Alternatively, you can search the public register at www.pgdb.co.nz to check credentials before any work begins."

How to raise the alarm - If a homeowner or building inspector believes work has been done by someone who is not authorised they can make a complaint to the Board at www.pgdb.co.nz or directly to the Board’s investigations team through the Report a Cowboy app (R.A.C).  Download at www.pgdb.co.nz/consumer/rac-app

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