Unlicensed Kerikeri roofer prosecuted

On: 7 May 2018

A Kerikeri man who falsely held himself out as a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) and a member of the Roofing Association of New Zealand (RANZ), despite never being affiliated with either, has been prosecuted in the Kaikohe District Court.

Mr Aaron Connelly, sole director and shareholder of his company Connelly Roofing Limited carried out extensive roofing work on a residential home without holding any licence to do so.

The case against Mr Connelly was brought to the Kaikohe District Court by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE’s) Occupational Licensing Team.

Investigations Team Leader Simon Thomas says, “Before the roofing work was undertaken, Mr Connelly provided the homeowner with his business card which displayed the LBP and RANZ logos.”

“Mr Connelly acknowledged that promoting yourself as an LBP if you are not one, can result in serious fines. Mr Connelly continued to hold himself out as an LBP and completed the roofing work – to a poor standard.”

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.

“To hold yourself out as an LBP is misleading to consumers and most importantly it puts New Zealanders property at risk,” says Mr Thomas.

Soon after the work was completed, a leak was noticed in the roof and Mr Connelly returned to the property to remediate that work, however the leak persisted.

The homeowner attempted to make contact with Mr Connelly several times, however by this point he had ceased contact with the homeowner.

“Upon searching the LBP public register, the homeowner found Mr Connelly was not listed as a licensed builder, and phoned a qualified roofer to inspect the roofing work – which was completed well-below standard.”

Mr Connelly pleaded guilty for falsely claiming he was an LBP and was sentenced to a fine of $2,500.

“This is a clear message to the building industry. Claiming to be a licensed building practitioner without holding such a licence is illegal, and where MBIE has evidence of this, offenders can expect to be prosecuted,” Mr Thomas says.

Consumers should check the Licensed Building Practitioner public register when seeking practitioners to carry out restricted building work on their homes. Restricted building work relates to structure, weathertightness and fire safety design of a building.

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