Hawke's Bay Today

Tradie trap: Pub­lic told watch out

In­dus­try lead­ers warn con­sumers to take care and check cre­den­tials My mes­sage to con­sumers is that it takes one sim­ple ac­tion to stay safe and avoid any risk.

- Crime · Industries · Hawke's Bay · District Court · New Zealand · Plumbing

Plumb­ing au­thor­i­ties say a pros­e­cu­tion for unau­tho­rised work in Hawke’s Bay high­lights the need for prop­erty own­ers to make sure work on their homes is le­gal.

The warn­ing fol­lows a Dis­trict Court de­ci­sion in which Hast­ings man Paul Shan­non was fined $2500 and or­dered to pay $130 court costs for do­ing or as­sist­ing in re­stricted plumb­ing work with­out au­tho­ri­sa­tion.

Shan­non, an em­ployee, did not hold any reg­is­tra­tion and pleaded guilty to a charge laid by the Plumbers, Gas­fit­ters and Drain­lay­ers Board.

A sum­mary said Shan­non went to a Hast­ings ad­dress be­tween Septem­ber 4 and Oc­to­ber 31 last year and car­ried out work in­clud­ing dis­con­nect­ing a bath, shower, van­ity unit, laun­dry tub, taps, wa­ter pipes and waste con­nec­tions, and con­nected mainly new fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing a new toi­let.

Dur­ing the work, con­cerns were raised with Shan­non who said he would not re­turn un­til his em­ployer had seen some money.

“The work was not com­pleted to a sat­is­fac­tory stan­dard,” the sum­mary said. “Af­ter the work was com­pleted there was a leak be­hind the shower. Fur­ther, the hot and cold wa­ter pipes were the wrong way around on the van­ity mixer, and the toi­let half-flush func­tion did not work ad­e­quately.

When con­tacted by the board, Shan­non con­ceded he had done the work with­out hav­ing a san­i­tary plumb­ing li­cence or au­tho­ri­sa­tion, and ex­plained he was un­able to get a plumber to work at the ad­dress at the time. With his em­ployer away over­seas he de­cided to do the work him­self.

The PGDB says fines in pros­e­cu­tions this year for unau­tho­rised work to­tal $21,640. No or­der for repa­ra­tion was made in the cause, but orders that have been made to­tal $8664.

San­i­tary plumb­ing, gas­fit­ting and drain­lay­ing are reg­u­lated trades in New Zealand and it is il­le­gal to do this re­stricted work un­less au­tho­rised by the board.

Health and safety risks are high, and home­own­ers jeop­ar­dise in­sur­ance poli­cies and risk fines or con­vic­tion in the Dis­trict Court.

Board chief ex­ec­u­tive Martin Sawyers said it was a clear warn­ing to those bla­tantly mis­lead­ing home­own­ers.

“My mes­sage to con­sumers is that it takes one sim­ple ac­tion to stay safe and avoid any risk,” he said.

“Go to our web­site and check it’s le­gal, first.

“Al­most all as­pects of this work is re­stricted and il­le­gal to DIY.

When hir­ing a trades­per­son, ask to sight a li­cence card. It states the cre­den­tials of a trades­per­son and the type of work they are au­tho­rised to carry out.”

Martin Sawyers

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