DIY or Tradespeople?


When building or renovating, somewhere along the line sanitary plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying will need to be done.

There are very few tasks you can do yourself. For most, you will need to call a professional.

Know your limits. While it can be tempting to partake in the Kiwi spirit of DIY, if the job is done incorrectly things can go horribly wrong and become costly.

Why? Because high safety risks exist in the industry and it is illegal to do a lot of this work in New Zealand unless you have authorisation.

There are big fines associated with illegal work. For example, unauthorised sanitary plumbing work carries a maximum fine of $10,000, and unauthorised gasfitting carries a maximum fine of $50,000. 

It is better to hire a professional and get the job done properly the first time around than to make costly mistakes. 

Work carried out by unauthorised people can cause injury, loss of life and disease, as well as damage to property. Homeowners should also be aware that unauthorised work may also affect their insurance policy. 

The Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board (PGDB) was put in place to protect public health and safety and ensure tradespeople in these fields are authorised and doing this work competently. Tradespeople must undergo extensive training to enter and remain in this industry.

To avoid expensive mistakes join other savvy Kiwi homeowners who are taking the right steps. Always ask for the card.

The PGDB’s key message for consumers is to ‘Ask for the Card’—check to see if a person is authorised to work by asking to see their card. Tradespeople are required to have this authorisation card with them to show to consumers. 

The card provides confidence you are hiring a competent tradesperson.  Always check the expiry date to see that the authorisation is current.  Check the icons on the front to ensure that the person is permitted to do the type of work they are doing.

Consumers can also check up on the authorisation of tradespeople by searching the Board’s online public register, or find out their DIY limits at Request a copy of the helpful consumer guide. 

If you are still unsure give the Board a call on 0800 743 262, there are technical advisors available to assist.

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