Auckland builder prosecuted for falsely claiming to be a licensed building practitioner
On: 1 February 2017
Unlicensed Albany-based builder Blair Cole has been convicted of two charges of falsely claiming to be a licensed building practitioner, resulting in a $5,000 fine and an order to pay court costs and $1,296 in reparation.
The case against Mr Cole was brought to the North Shore District Court by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Occupational Licensing Team.
“Mr Cole, who trades as Akoranga Construction Limited, ran numerous advertisements in local papers falsely claiming to be a licensed practitioner and displayed the Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) logo on his business card, despite never holding an LBP license,” says Investigations Team Leader Simon Thomas.
“Furthermore, an Orewa homeowner responded to one of these print advertisements, engaging Mr Cole to replace a number of piles under the deck of her house. Mr Cole undertook this work, continuing the guise of a licensed builder. The homeowner paid Mr Cole for the job, which remains unfinished. “
It is an offence under the Building Act 2004 for a person to claim to be licensed to carry out or supervise restricted building work, while not being licensed.
Mr Cole pleaded guilty to both charges, was fined $5,000, and ordered to pay court fees and $1,296.02 in reparation to the homeowner for the unfinished work on her Orewa home.
“This prosecution sends a clear message to the building industry that claiming to be a licensed building practitioner without actually holding such a license is illegal. Where MBIE has evidence of this occurring, offenders can expect to be prosecuted accordingly,” Mr Thomas says.