Now, more than ever, tradespeople need to make sure they hold a current licence.
The new licensing year begins on 1 April 2016 and those who lapse will get caught as a result of the recent partnership between the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board (construction sector regulator) and web-based company Builderscrack.co.nz.
This is just one initiative set in place this year by the board to eradicate illegal operators from the system.
“This new partnership is all about protecting the property owner,” said CEO of the board, Martin Sawyers.
Sanitary plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying are regulated industries in New Zealand, and it is illegal to do this restricted work unless authorised by the board.
“If restricted plumbing, gasfitting, or drainlaying work is carried out by someone without authorisation from the board, you are not only risking your family’s health and safety – you are more than likely invalidating your insurance policy,” added Sawyers.
“Web service Builderscrack.co.nz connects tradespeople to landlords and commercial property owners throughout New Zealand, and it is stepping up in support of legitimate tradespeople to help protect property owners.
“Illegal operators beware: the team at Builderscrack are checking credentials and notifying the board of unauthorised people who put their clientele at risk, and attempt to undercut legitimate tradespeople.
“It is educating property owners. It now produces consumer guidelines alongside plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying work advertised on its website.”
Illegal gasfitting carries a maximum fine of $50,000 and illegal sanitary plumbing or drainlaying carries a maximum fine of $10,000.
“Tradespeople need to carry a current authorisation card, and consumers should protect themselves by asking to see it. And if you are working in the trades, avoid prosecution and get licensed on time this year,” advised Sawyers.
Plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers have been permitted to uplift their new licence from the board since 15 February 2016.
Consumers can check to see if a person is authorised by searching the online public register at www.pgdb.co.nz or by phoning 0800 743 262.