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Unauthorised trade work continues to cause trouble to homeowners

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It seems unauthorised trade work remains a huge problem for homeowners, as proven by the Plumbers Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board (PGDB)’s latest reminder. The regulator has warned property owners to not fall into the trap of using unlicensed people to conduct plumbing or gasfitting work on renovation projects because of the high risk on health and safety.

Martin Sawyers, chief executive for the PGDB, has advised.“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.” 

Robert Joseph, who was not a registered and licensed plumber or gasfitter and was not authorised to complete sanitary plumbing or gasfitting work, carried out bedroom and bathroom alterations in a garage at a Hastings residence.

The work 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.  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.  Mr Joseph was sentenced to a $2,000 fine and was ordered to pay $130 in court costs.

“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,” Chief Executive for the PGDB, Martin Sawyers said.

The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) added: “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.”

go to: Insurance Business NZ