and Drainlayers Board
Register with overseas qualifications
Find out how to work in New Zealand
Practicing in New Zealand
If you are moving to New Zealand and want to carry out plumbing, gasfitting and/or drainlaying, you will need to register and apply for a licence. Carrying out restricted plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying work without a current New Zealand licence is illegal.
New Zealand recognises Australian qualifications held by registered plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers under the provisions of the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 ("TTMRA") and we will issue the equivalent registration and practising licence.
- Complete the Skills Recommendation for Registration Category A overseas qualified assessment
- Apply for pre-registration with the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board
- Apply for a provisional licence with the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board
- Sit and pass the tradesman registration examination through Aspeq Ltd
- Apply for registration as a Tradesman
Category A (overseas trained)
This option is for people with an overseas qualification that is deemed equivalent to, or greater than the NZ Certificate (Level 4).
To get full registration you must:
- Complete an assessment of your qualification through Skills
- Submit an Eligibility Application to the Board for consideration with evidence of 6 years working full time in the trade.
- Pass the Board’s Advanced Proficiency Assessment (APA).
What is the assessment conducted by Skills:
You will need an assessment to assess if you have the same knowledge and skill equal to a person with the NZ Certificate (Level 4). This Recommendation for Registration assessment is conducted by the Skills Organisation.
To be eligible for a Category A assessment you must:
- Hold a formal overseas qualification that you want to be recognised in NZ
- Can show a minimum of 4 years of full-time experience in plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying.
Book your assessment with Skills here.
The Skills Recommendation for Registration Category A Overseas qualified assessment process:
The Skills Recognition team will assess the applicant’s qualifications and experience against the current New Zealand qualification and determine if they are the equivalent to or greater than the New Zealand Certificate (level 4).
If successful, the applicant will be issued a letter of Recommendation for Registration for the relevant trade.
This assessment can be completed whilst outside of New Zealand.
The pre-registration application process:
Once the Skills recommendation for registration process has been completed, applicants must then apply for pre-registration with the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board. Applicants must submit the following information:
- A completed Eligibility Application for Overseas Tradesperson – Tradesman form
- A police certificate from their country of citizenship dated within the past six months or evidence of New Zealand
- If applying for Certifying level, evidence of having worked full time for a minimum of 6 years in the sanitary plumbing or gasfitting trades, or a minimum of 4 years in the drainlaying
If successful, applicants will be issued a letter confirming they have been approved to pursue the next step towards registration in New Zealand in their selected trade at their chosen level. This step can be completed whilst outside of New Zealand.
The provisional licence process:
After pre-registration has been granted, applicants are given a period of 12 months from when they arrive in New Zealand to complete the next step of the overseas process.
Applicants can uplift a Provisional licence and are legally able to work in New Zealand. This is a temporary licence that can be issued for a maximum of 12 months.
Applicants must sit and pass the tradesman registration examination or complete the three-day Advanced Proficiency Assessment within 12 months:
If approved for Tradesman level, applicants will need to sit and pass the relevant Tradesman registration examination:
- 9192 Tradesman Plumber registration examination
- 9193 Tradesman Gasfitter registration examination
- 9197 Tradesman Drainlayer registration examination
Applicants are then eligible to apply for registration as a Tradesman or Certifier:
Once the applicant has passed the required examination/assessment, they are eligible to apply for registration in New Zealand.
How do I apply for an Eligibility Application?
When you have successfully completed the Category A assessment you can submit an pre-registration eligibility application form.
Once approved you will then be eligible to apply for a temporary provisional licence for up to 12 months whilst you work towards completing the Advanced Proficiency Assessment.
What is an APA?
An Advanced Proficiency Assessment (APA) is a three-day theory and practical assessment and is your final step to becoming a certifier. To sit the APA, you will need to hold a provisional licence.
For details about APA assessment see our APA policy.
How do I book an APA?
How much does an APA cost?
The APA assessment cost is $4,490 (including GST) per trade. The cost breakdown is below:
Application fee (Non-refundable)
What do I need to submit to the Board to get registered as a certifier?
Go to our Certifying registration page.