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Covid-19 Information updates

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Alert Level 4 from 11.59 pm on Wednesday 25 March for a period of four weeks.  This means New Zealanders not working in essential services must stay at home and stop all interactions with others outside of your household.

We understand this is a very unsettling time for everyone, and appreciate you will have questions and concerns about what this means for you and the building and construction sector.  

In the first instance, please visit for all information relating to COVID-19. This website is being updated regularly and is your best chance of finding answers to your questions.

What the COVID-19 Level 4 alert means for the Building and Construction sector >>> 


Essential Services

There is now a help line that has been established by the Government for those that have questions about essential businesses:

0508 377 388 or email


What is an essential service?

Get the best information

What the Government considers to be essential services can be found on the Covid-19 website.

You can find that information here:

Is plumbing gasfitting and drainlaying an essential service?

In some circumstances

Plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying is considered to be an essential service.

  • Plumbing, gasfittng or drainlaying is an essential service if you are working for another essential service or critical infrastructure. For example if the work is for a supermarket, or hospital or a food producer then they are all essential services and you may continue providing services to them.
  • Plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying is also an essential service if the work is required immediately to maintain human health and safety at home or work.

The key point here is that it must be:

  • Required to maintain human health and safety; and
  • That requirement must be immediate.

Not all work will is needed to maintain human health and safety. Nor is the need always immediate.

Work considered to be essential


Work considered to be essential to immediately maintain human health and safety

  • Work necessary to ensure that a home has access to hot water. E.g replace hot water cylinder that is no longer working, replace related water pipes that are no longer working.
  • Work necessary to ensure that a home continues to be able to dispose of wastewater and sewerage. E.g. replace a broken pipe that is no longer working, unblock a pipe.
  • Work necessary to ensure that a home continues to be able to receive water. E.g. replace a water pipe supplying water.
  • Work necessary to ensure that a home can still receive gas services. E.g repair a broken gas pipe.

Work that is 'not' considered to be essential

Examples of work that would not be essential to immediately maintain human health and safety

  • Can cannot complete a buildings fit out. Again, this work is not necessary to immediately maintain human health and safety.
  • You cannot complete a bathroom renovation when the family already has access to other sanitary services.
  • You cannot replace a water pipe where the leak is minor and isn’t stopping the supply of water to the property.
  • Replacing a tap washer.
  • Replacing a sanitary fixture of appliance that is otherwise operational.
  • You cannot undertake routine servicing.

It is a case of exercising your common sense.  You will be able to easily identify what you may and may not do at this time.

PPE Gear

The advice that the Board is giving to practitioners about the appropriate wearing and use of PPE gear is based on world best practice.  In our view, these are the precautionary steps that you should be taking to avoid exposure to the Covid-19 virus.   Some of that advice recommends similar steps many good practitioners will already be adopting when working with waste water.

However, the use of PPE gear and other precautionary steps in circumstances where those steps wouldn’t normally be employed it is also recommended at this time.

Our advice remains the same–use the PPE gear and employ the other precautionary steps in the manner we recommend.

What PPE gear will I need to wear?

Information about the PPE gear you should wear and the practices you should follow.



Ensure you download the full Guidelines to Protect Workers from Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Other Potential Infections
Materials (OP 
IM) in the Plumbing and Drainage Systems

  1. Understanding Coronavirus Exposure for the Trades
  2. How are you infected with COVID-19?
  3. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
  4. Can the virus spread through drinking water?
  5. Can the virus spread through sanitary drain and vent systems?
  6. How do tradespeople protect themselves?
  7. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Working on Plumbing and Drainage
    Waste Systems
  8. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for working near vents and rooftop HVAC
    equipment, specifically exhaust fans
  9. Important Note Related to Electrical Safety for COVID-19 Only
  10. Procedures for Tool Cleaning
  11. Training for Workers
  12. US CDC Recommendations
  13. Practice Social Distancing

Getting access to PPE gear

We have been advised by a number of practitioners that it is proving very difficult to access the appropriate PPE gear.

We have spoken to Government Officials about this issue. They have advised that the Government is acutely aware of the PPE situation and is taking steps to address it.

Unfortunately there is no mechanism at this point in time for essential service providers (outside theHealth Sector) to get preferential access to PPE.

We recommend that you continue to work with your existing suppliers to secure the appropriate equipment. If we receive any new information about availability of that equipment we will update you with that information.

 Mental health and wellbeing