If you think a tradesperson is unregistered, has behaved unethically or done a poor job, you can report them to their board or regulatory body.

Things to know

  • You can report a tradesperson whether or not they are registered or licensed.
  • You can complain about a registered or licensed person to their regulatory board for work or behaviour that falls short of the standards they need to abide by.
  • The boards can't award you any compensation or order the tradesperson to repair the negligent work, but they can discipline the tradesperson or take away their licence, protecting other people from also being ripped off.
  • Try to make your complaint as soon as possible and provide as much information as you can — the more time goes by, the harder the complaint will be to investigate.
  • If you need work repaired or finished, you will need to organise another tradesperson to do it. The industry boards can't recoup any costs for you.

You will need to go through the disputes tribunal process if you want the original tradesperson to pay for extra work.

Read more about Dealing with disputes

Unlicensed builder does shoddy work

Six months after having her living room extended, Ange discovers it's leaking. She finds out the building work has not been done properly and that it hasn't been signed off by the council. She tries to contact the builder but he won't return her calls. She complains to the Building Practitioners Board and it turns out the builder is not licensed. She gets a licensed building practitioner to do the repairs and goes to the Disputes Tribunal to try to recover costs from the first builder.

Make a complaint

You can make a complaint to Electrical Workers Registration Board if you’re worried about the safety of any electrical work.

The EWRB will investigate and can take enforcement action against the electrician by:

  • fining them
  • suspending or removing their registration
  • disqualifying them from doing electrical work.

The EWRB can't award you any compensation for losses or damages.

Making a complaint(external link) — Electrical Workers Registration Board

You can take a complaint about the standard of work of a licensed building practitioner to the Building Practitioners Board. If the complaint is upheld, the licensed building practitioner can be disciplined.

The Building Practitioners Board can't award you any compensation for losses or damages

Building Practitioners Board(external link) — Licensed Building Practitioners

You can report an unregistered person doing restricted building work, or pretending to be licensed, to the Ministry of Business Industry and Innovation and Employment.

Report an unlicensed building practitioner(external link) — Building Performance

You can make a complaint about work being done negligently or incompetently to the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board (PGBD).

The PGDB investigates complaints against registered plumbers, gasfitters, or drainlayers, or people who may be illegally undertaking plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying work.

The PGDB can:

  • cancel, restrict or suspend licences
  • censure the person
  • order them to do further training, or
  • fine them up to $10,000.

The Plumber Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board (PGBD) can't award you any compensation for losses or damages, or order repairs to fix any negligent work.

Make a complaint about a plumber, gasfitter or drainlayer(external link) — PGBD

You can make a complaint to Engineering New Zealand about a registered engineer or a person unlawfully claiming to be an engineer.

You can complain that an engineer has:

  • breached the engineers’ Code of Ethics
  • been negligent or incompetent
  • misrepresented something or mislead you.

Code of ethical conduct(external link) — Engineering New Zealand

If the complaint relates to a licensed building practitioner under the Building Act, Engineering New Zealand will refer the complaint to the Registrar of Licensed Building Practitioners.

Engineering New Zealand can't award you any compensation for losses or damages, or order repairs to fix any negligent work.

Engineering concerns(external link) — Engineering New Zealand

If you're unhappy with Engineering New Zealand's decision, you can appeal it with the Chartered Professional Engineers Council.

How to appeal a decision(external link) — Chartered Professional Engineers Council

You can complain to the New Zealand Registered Architects Board about a registered architect or a person unlawfully claiming to be an architect.

You can complain about:

  • dishonest or misleading behaviour
  • negligence or incompetence
  • incapacity
  • breaching NZRAB’s professional code of ethics.

Architects code of ethics(external link) — NZRAB

If the complaint relates to a licensed building practitioner under the Building Act, NZRAB will refer the complaint to the Registrar of Licensed Building Practitioners.

NZRAB can't award you any compensation for losses or damages, or order repairs to fix any negligent work.

Complaints procedures(external link) — NZRAB

If you think a tradesperson has breached your privacy, you can make a complaint to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

Make a complaint(external link) — Office of the Privacy Commissioner

You can report dodgy electricians, plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers using the Report-A-Cowboy app.

Report-A-Cowboy