In a judgment released today, a Nelson man has been convicted and fined $4000 for doing or helping to do gasfitting work without a licence and has been ordered to pay solicitor’s costs of $113 and Court costs of $130.
Craig Ashton did not hold a gasfitting licence when he and another person installed an LPG powered refrigerator and extended pipework for a flue in a motorhome.
Plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying are regulated industries in New Zealand and it is illegal to do this work unless authorised by the Board.
Mr Ashton’s work was found to be defective by a registered gasfitter who was called when the owner of the motorhome noticed a bad smell coming from the refrigerator that had made her feel ill and light-headed.
Upon noticing defects in the gasfitting work that he considered immediately dangerous to life, the registered gasfitter notified WorkSafe NZ who in turn notified the Board.
The Board’s Chief Executive, Max Pedersen warns consumers; “Don’t risk your family’s health and safety or your insurance by hiring unauthorised people. While New Zealand law allows anyone to purchase gasfitting appliances, it is illegal to undertake any associated gasfitting work without authorisation.“
“There are big fines associated with illegal work, Max continued. This type of dangerous work carried out by unauthorised people can cause injury and even loss of life, as well as damage to property. “
All authorised tradespeople are required to carry their current authorisation card. The Board strongly urges consumers to stay safe and ask for this card before any work commences. This way they can be assured installations are safely connected to the gas supply, ventilated properly, in good working order, and that safety devices are correctly adjusted.
If a member of the public believes that work has been done by someone who is not authorised, or has concerns about the competency of tradespeople, they can make a complaint to the Board. You can check to see if a tradesperson is authorised at the Board’s website www.pgdb.co.nz.