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Q&A's: Who can you complain about?

The Board runs an independent, fair process for dealing with complaints about the conduct of plumbers, gasfitters, and drainlayers.

This process applies to the following people:

  • registered plumbers, gasfitters, or drainlayers
  • plumbers, gasfitters, or drainlayers who hold provisional licences
  • plumbers, gasfitters, or drainlayers who were registered at the time of the relevant conduct but are not anymore
  • plumbers, gasfitters, or drainlayers who are already subject to a Board order in relation to plumbing, gasfitting, or drainlaying work.

See the law on complaints and discipline in relation to plumbers, gasfitters, and drainlayers below:

Sanitary plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying are regulated industries in New Zealand and it’s illegal for anyone to do this work unless they are authorised by the Board.

  • The Board also considers complaints about persons carrying out restricted sanitary plumbing, gasfitting and/or drainlaying when they are not registered, licensed or authorised to carry out that work.
  • Prosecutions policy
Making a complaint

The Board recommends that, before making a complaint

It is essential that you understand the following points

  • Who can make a complaint
  • What should you do before making a complaint
  • What information you will need to provide with your complaint
  • How long the complaints process takes
  • What types of complaints the Board can consider
  • What types of outcomes the Board can make

Take a look at the checklist before proceeding to the complaints form.

Go to checklist >> 

Complaint channels

Options for submitting a complaint

Let the Board know about any person or company that you believe has carried out plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying work that is not compliant.

By making a complaint online you agree 

  • To be named as the complainant (If you wish to remain anonymous, but you would like to pass the information onto the Board, you can also do this, however, there is a limit to what the Board can do with the information provided).
  • To sign a statement outlining your complaint (By signing the statement, you must be prepared to attend a Board Disciplinary hearing or a District Court prosecution if required).

You understand

If your complaint progresses to a disciplinary hearing, the tradesperson may be:

  • Censured, fined, ordered to complete further training; or
  • have their license cancelled, restricted or removed.

If your complaint progresses to a District Court prosecution, and the person is found guilty of carrying out restricted work without a license, the subject can be fined up to $10,000.


Send your complaint by post

Download and complete a printed complaint form and send it via post to the Board.

Download complaints form >>


Report it with the R.A.C app

The Board has developed the Report a Cowboy app (R.A.C) which allows for a quick, easy and confidential way of reporting if you think a tradie is unlicensed, behaved unethically or done a poor job, use the Report-A-Cowboy app for plumbing, gasfitting, drainlaying, electrical, and building work-related issues you come across.

Download the app


Get the download link texted to your mobile for easy download
Email - type your mobile # in the email header