Plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers

The next steps to take if you are unable to resolve an issue with a plumber, gasfitter or drainlayer.

Who do I go to?

The Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board(external link) (PGDB) if you have a complaint about work being done negligently or incompetently. 

Energy Safety(external link) if you have concerns about the safety of a gas appliance or installation.

The Disputes Tribunal OR the District Court(external link) to make a claim if you are unable to resolve the complaint.

The Commerce Commission(external link) if you wish to report a business for false or misleading statements or conduct. 

The Privacy Commissioner(external link) if you believe a plumber, gasfitter or drainlayer has interfered with your privacy.

What kind of problems do they handle?

The PGDB investigates complaints against:

  • registered plumbers, gasfitters, or drainlayers
  • plumbers, gasfitters, or drainlayers who hold provisional licences
  • plumbers, gasfitters, or drainlayers who were registered at the time of the relevant conduct but are not anymore
  • plumbers, gasfitters, or drainlayers who are already subject to a Board order in relation to plumbing, gasfitting, or drainlaying work
  • people who may be illegally undertaking plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying work.

The Disputes Tribunal deals with claims up to $15,000 (or $20,000 if both parties agree). The District Court deals with claims over $15,000.

What do I need to do?

  1. Contact the plumber, gasfitter and drainlayer to try to resolve the dispute.
  2. If you are unable to resolve the dispute, contact the PGDB and follow the complaints process.
  3. To report an unlicensed tradesperson doing restricted sanitary plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying work, download the RAC (Report-A-Cowboy) app(external link).
  4. If you are not happy with the result of your complaint to the PGDB or if you wish to seek compensation, you may wish to make a claim to the Disputes Tribunal or District Court. Find out more about Going to the Disputes Tribunal.

What else do I need to consider?

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

However, the PGDB can’t award compensation to you to cover any costs you may have incurred, or order repairs to fix any negligent work.

Where can I get more information?

Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board

Provides information for tradespeople and consumers including how to make a complaint.

Visit the website(external link)

Energy Safety

Provides information about its role as the electricity and gas regulator and how to report an accident or unsafe installation or product.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0508 377 463.

The Disputes Tribunal

The Ministry of Justice website provides information on the Tribunal and how to apply.

Visit the website(external link)

District Court

Information about your local District Court can be found on the District Courts of New Zealand website.

Visit the website(external link)

Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Provides information on the Privacy Act and how to make complaints about breaches of the Act.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0800 803 909

The Commerce Commission

Provides information how to make a complaint if you feel a business is not complying with the Fair Trading Act.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0800 943 600