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 decision in the Hastings District Court 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 at the time 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 which 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."