Ministry prosecutes unlicensed Auckland builder

On: 27 August 2015

An unlicensed North Shore builder has pleaded guilty to a charge under the Building Act 2004 and has been convicted and fined $3000.

The prosecution against 32 year old Bin Zhang, also known as Aaron Zhang, was brought by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Occupational Licensing Team.

Bin Zhang recently pleaded guilty in the North Shore District Court to one charge of holding himself out as a person who is licensed to carry out or supervise building work or building inspection work, while not being licensed.

The Court heard that Bin Zhang had carried out building work, trading as XR Builds and Renovation Limited, which is not registered as a limited liability company on the Companies Register.

Since 1 March 2012, a building practitioner carrying out or supervising restricted building work is required to be licensed under the Building Act 2004 and Bin Zhang has never been a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP).

The Court also heard that in late August 2014, Zhang undertook a bathroom renovation at a North Shore home and stated he was qualified for the job, completing and signing a Record of Building Work for restricted building work, and provided a fake LBP licence number.

The contract with the homeowner was terminated a month later due to concerns about the quality of Zhang’s work.

Investigations Team Leader Simon Thomas says this prosecution is the first of its kind that MBIE has brought against an individual.

“The Building Practitioners Board, which oversees the Licensed Building Practitioners (LBP) Scheme, can take action against LBPs however the investigation of non-LBPs is undertaken by MBIE, as the government’s building regulator.”

Mr Thomas says, “We hope this recent prosecution sends a clear message to builders that they can only sign off on restricted building work if they are a Licensed Building Practitioner – the same goes for carrying out or supervising restricted building work Where MBIE has evidence of anyone operating outside of the law, they can expect to be caught and prosecuted accordingly.”

 

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