The owner of a renovation company has been ordered to pay $21,000 in fines and reparation for dodgy plumbing on bathrooms.

Shams Construction Works general manager Shamsher Ali was sentenced at the Auckland District Court last week after he was found guilty of carrying out sanitary plumbing in two bathrooms at a Mt Roskill property without a registration or licence.

Plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers are regulated industries and anyone carrying out work needs to be approved by the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board.

The board sought a $9000 fine, which is one of the highest ever given because of the scale of the offending and significant damage caused. Sanitary plumbing offences have a maximum penalty of $10,000 and, in the past, fines have been between $1000 and $2000. Another $15,000 was ordered for reparation.


The dodgy plumbing carried out by Shams Construction Works cost the homeowner $20,000 to rebuild the two bathrooms because of water damage and gases venting into the home after the original toilet pipe was tiled over instead of disconnected.

The toilet pan connecter did not have a rubber seal and water splashed out into the homeowners wardrobe every time the toilet was flushed. Pipes were also found to not have been connected properly.

Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board chief executive Martin Sawyers said defective plumbing could cause serious disease and damage to a home.

"There are serious health and safety risks associated with sanitary plumbing carried out by an unauthorised person."

He said homeowners needed to make sure any tradespeople carrying out plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying were registered as unauthorised work posed a health and safety risk and may not be covered by insurance.

Legitimate tradespeople authorised by the board are required to produce a licence card which homeowners could ask to see.

On its website, Shams Construction Works says it does "a wide variety of work ranging from construction of houses to many other things related to it" . Work listed on the site includes bathroom and kitchen renovations and concreting.

Mr Ali told the Herald he had accepted the judge's decision and had no plans to challenge it.