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MEDIA RELEASE | New APP technology to put illegal operators in the construction industry behind the eight ball

The clampdown on unauthorised work continues. Released for download to the public today by the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board, the new R.A.C app is set to effectively deal with unauthorised work within the construction industry quickly.
As part of the Board's increased focus on unauthorised plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying work, it has developed the R.A.C app (report-a-cowboy).

The app allows industry tradespeople and consumers to submit photo and video evidence of illegal work sites, false advertising on vans and so on. It also has the ability to log GPS coordinates and allows those reporting through the app to request confidentiality.

The Board can receive around 40 complaints from tradespeople and consumers a month, and there have been instances where the proper channels of complaint have not been completed adequately – making the investigation and prosecution process difficult.

“The app is a significant change to the Board's lengthy complaint process of the past where a significant amount of form filling was required”, said the Board’s Chief Executive, Martin Sawyers. The only requirement now in the complaint process is to pass on information to the PGD Board's investigation team by using the new on-the-spot
R.A.C app technology.”

The R.A.C app effectively allows every licensed tradesperson and the consumer to become the eyes and ears of the Board around the country. The information gathered will allow the Board to identify and target its resources at problem areas, and will help squeeze out illegal operators throughout New Zealand quickly.

“Unauthorised work is, however, a problem that can’t be solved simply by prosecuting more people, commented Martin. We also need to make consumers more aware of the risks involved in hiring unauthorised people”.

“ It is important to know that work undertaken by unlicensed people not only risks your family’s health and safety– but may also invalidate insurance”.

“Homeowners should take every precaution when engaging with service providers by asking to see an authorisation card – tradespeople are required to produce it”, said Mr Sawyers.

In January 2015, the Board will continue its media campaign warning not to use unlicensed tradespeople.

The Board also encourages all consumers and industry tradespeople to download the free app and assist in identifying, and holding to account those people who are carrying out restricted sanitary plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying work unlawfully.

The R.A.C app is available through the App Store and Google Play – or on the Board’s website here


Contact the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board

Phone: 0800 743 262, Email:, Post: PO Box 10655, The Terrace, Wellington 6143
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