Gisborne electrician receives fine for illegal work

On: 13 October 2015

A Gisborne electrical business has been fined $6000 in the District Court after its sole director and shareholder, Gareth Hopkins, carried out prescribed electrical work (PEW) despite not being registered to do so.

The Electrical Workers Registration Board (“the Board”), which oversees the registration of people carrying out such work within New Zealand, moved quickly to take action against Mr Hopkins.

Between 1 April 2013 and 30 June 2014, Mr Hopkins performed around 38 different jobs, some involving prescribed electrical work, at a fast food outlet in Gisborne. In addition, Mr Hopkins issued Electrical Compliance Certificates for the work done, and advertised as being able to do all electrical work on his Facebook page.

The prescribed electrical work that Mr Hopkins completed included:

  • Regularly inspecting and repairing faulty equipment, including a bain marie, fryers, cookers and display cabinets. He replaced the faulty parts, including elements, fuses and temperature probes, and installed, tested and livened the new parts.
  • Repairing damaged wiring and power points.
  • Completing preventive maintenance, including testing and checking all fittings, appliances, equipment and the main switchboard.

The role of the EWRB is to help keep consumers safe and ensure that high quality electrical work is done. The Board’s Registrar John Sickels said this was not happening with Mr Hopkins.

“I cannot stress how important it is for people to ask upfront to see an electrical workers practising licence, to ask if the work they are doing for you requires certification, and to make sure you get the certification if it is needed,” said Mr Sickels.

“If you are unsure of what you should be looking for when you employ an electrical worker, the EWRB’s website contains everything consumers need to know about what electrical work can be done by a non-professional and what needs to be carried out by a licensed electrical worker,” said Mr Sickels.

In order to become registered, a person has to satisfy the Board that he or she has achieved a certain level of competence to ensure work carried out reaches acceptable safety standards.

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