Licensed Building Practitioners Held to Account

On: 23 December 2015

Two licensed building practitioners (LBPs) have been found guilty of poor quality work and fined by the Building Practitioners Board.

Two licensed building practitioners (LBPs) have been found guilty of poor quality work and fined by the Building Practitioners Board.

In late October Auckland man Hao Zhang had his carpentry and foundation licence cancelled, his name removed from the register of LBPs and he was fined $2,500. This followed a complaint against him for negligent and/or incompetent work and carrying out, or supervising work, that didn’t comply with a building consent. The complaint related to the construction of a specifically engineered retaining wall.

The Board said that Mr Zhang failed to understand the potential ramifications of his decision to cut reinforcing steel off to fix an error. He also drilled and placed new starter bars in the foundation without any form of bonding to the concrete.

Mr Zhang failed to consult with the Engineer or the Designer and instead continued with a solution that did not meet the required performance factors for the retaining wall to be constructed and in doing so displayed a serious lack of care and competence.

Another LBP, who has had his name withheld, appeared before the Board in September and was fined $3,000 and ordered to pay costs of $2,500 again for negligent and/or incompetent work and carrying out or supervising work that didn’t comply with a building consent. He was also found to have brought the regime for LBPs into disrepute.

The Board found that he showed a “flagrant disregard for the law by not uplifting the building consent and for the requirement for resource consent despite his extensive knowledge and experience of the building consent process”.

Registrar of LBP’s Paul Hobbs says both cases highlighted the importance of LBP’s obligations leading to public confidence in the scheme.

“It’s imperative to the overall regime’s success that people who are licensed are seen to be playing by the rules and not adopting a different set when it comes to their own work.”

“The first complaint highlighted the importance of LBP’s following plans and specifications that form part of a building consent. Any significant deviation from the consented documentation should be dealt with through a formal amendment or a minor variation to the consent.”

“When issues are identified on a building site the appropriate people should be consulted and any proposed changes should be discussed with the BCA building inspector to avoid any unnecessary complications during the building consent process,” said Paul.

A guide to making a complaint about a licensed building practitioner is available from the LBP website.

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