Fine for 'sparky' wiring

By Mike Dinsdale

Northlanders are being urged to check the qualifications of people doing electrical work for them after a Whangarei man was fined $5000 for carrying out "incompetent and extremely dangerous" uncertified work on a house bus that was sold on internet auction site Trade Me.

Roeland Koridon appeared in Whangarei District Court last month for sentencing on charges of doing unauthorised electrical work and doing work on an electrical installation and failing to ensure that the installation is electrically safe. The charges were laid under the Electricity Act 1992 and carry maximum fines of $50,000 and $10,000 respectively.

Koridon pleaded guilty to the two charges which related to wiring of a bus to convert it to a motorhome and was fined $5000 and ordered to pay more than $800 in reparation to the complainant who owned the bus.

The prosecution followed an investigation by the Electrical Workers Registration Board, which is operated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The summary of facts to the court said in 2012 Koridon converted a bus into a motor home, performing electrical work on the bus, including installing cables, wiring and electrical fittings that were intended to operate on mains voltage.

The house bus was then sold on Trade Me, but a subsequent electrical inspector described the work as "incompetent and extremely dangerous" and noted there was a risk of injury to people using the bus.

The bus chassis was not earthed and there was also incorrect polarity to the power points.

Koridon admitted he had done the work, but said he didn't charge for labour and that he did not realise this kind of work had to be carried out by a registered electrician.

New legislation brought in last month now requires all electricians carrying out prescribed electrical work to provide a compliance certificate or an electrical safety certificate to customers. The prosecution was one of four - with cases in Thames, Wellington and Porirua contributing to a total fine of $16,000.

Chief executive of the Electrical Contractors Association of New Zealand Neville Simpson said it was crucial for homeowners to check for certification from anyone doing electrical work for them.

"Apart from the safety aspects, homeowners could also face problems insuring or selling properties if they do not obtain certification for electrical installation work," Mr Simpson said.

- Northern Advocate

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