A review by the Ministry of the Economy, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) found that the Plumbers, Gas Installers and Drainage Equipment Act works well to ensure plumbing, gas and drainage installations are properly carried out in the interests of public health and safety.
The government approved minor recommendations in the report to improve the effectiveness of the law.
“While the review found the system to work well overall, the proposed changes will ensure that restrictions on plumbing are proportionate to public safety risks,” said Amy Moorhead, MBIE construction policy manager.
Proposed changes include removing the government’s ability to make exemptions from registration and licensing requirements for performing restricted plumbing in certain parts of the country. Exceptions that allow unlicensed persons to work under supervision are also removed. However, as work continues, a new license class will be developed to officially recognize their skills and experience.
“The proposed changes do not affect the type of work that is considered a lower risk that homeowners can do themselves. People who want to install their own washing machines and dishwashers, or replace or repair faucets, can still do so, ”said Amy Moorhead.
“However, the proposed changes agreed by the Cabinet will ensure that riskier jobs that require specialist knowledge and experience, such as installing, repairing or replacing toilets, showers and sewer systems, are left to those who are qualified to do them.”
Other agreed recommendations include further work to develop a path to self-certification for plumbers and drains, minor changes to complaints and disciplinary procedures and definitions under the law, and changes to ensure that the board for plumbers, gas installers, and drains has the right mix of skills has and experience.
“Plumbing has certain health and safety risks, both for the people who do the work and for the people who use the building. Through these changes, the government is giving New Zealanders more confidence that the people who do this type of work understand the risks involved and how to minimize them. “
The Plumbers, Gas Installers and Drainage Equipment Act review is part of a series of building law reforms to improve the efficiency and quality of construction work in New Zealand, and to get fairer results when things go wrong.
A bill for these proposed changes is expected to be presented in early 2022, which will then be referred to a selected committee for review to seek public feedback on the impact of the proposals.
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