A man has been fined $2000 after pleading guilty to a charge of unlicensed plumbing during work on a Havelock North commercial site last year.

But he is not the only person carrying out illegal plumbing and drainage work in Hawke's Bay, according to Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board chief executive Martin Sawyers who says the majority of tradespeople hold current authorisation but there are "a few" who don't.

Dennis Maurice Laing, of Flaxmere, was charged by the board, a statutory body for regulating those carrying out sanitary plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying.

It followed a complaint by Hastings District Council building officer Elliott Watson who inspected a property in the Havelock North Village Shopping Centre after a plumber notified the council that sanitary plumbing work carried out by Laing was done without a building consent.


Laing, who was not a registered plumber at the time of the work last March or April, also installed a hot water cylinder, four foot spa baths, a basin and an extension of a waste-water pipe at the site.

In the Hastings District Court, Judge Bridget Mackintosh ordered the defendant to pay $130 court costs and $113 solicitor's costs.

Under the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act anyone carrying out such work must be registered, each offence being punishable by a fine up to $10,000.

Mr Sawyers said: "While the majority of tradespeople in Hawke's Bay do the right thing by the consumer and ensure they hold a current authorisation there remain a few who are undermining their efforts.

"Those who choose to cheat the system and put public health and safety at risk will be caught," he said.

The board advises all people contemplating similar work to take "every precaution" when engaging services, and recommends seeking proof of authorisation before work starts.

"This way they can be assured the work is being done lawfully and by a competent tradesperson," he said. "Don't risk your family's health and safety or your insurance by hiring unauthorised people."