New Zealanders are well known for their love of D.I.Y but before you think of starting some plumbing work yourself it’s important to note that almost all aspects of plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying work are restricted and illegal to D.I.Y in New Zealand. The health and safety risks of doing it yourself are high. It can result in very expensive mistakes, and you may be voiding your insurance. Further information can be found here

So how can you find someone you can trust? It is hard to know who to choose when it comes to tradespeople. Recommendations from friends or family are often a great way to help make your decision – recommendations are actually the only way that we built up our client base in the first few years of business. It is important, first of all though, to make sure that who you are dealing with is properly licenced and legally allowed to complete plumbing work in your home or business.

The Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board is responsible for administering the registration of plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers. Sanitary plumbing work is restricted in New Zealand and can only be completed by authorised tradesmen who are registered with the Board.

There are currently 3 Registration classes in New Zealand:

  1. Certifying Plumber (previously Craftsman Plumber)
  2. Tradesman (previously Registered Plumber)
  3. Journeyman (for those who have not passed the licencing exam but has completed their qualification)

Registration on its own though does not make you authorised to complete work. You need to hold a current NZ Practising Licence which then needs to be renewed each year. This licence is required to be carried while working and should be shown on request. It is illegal to do this type of restricted work without a licence and the fines can be very high. If in doubt you can check the current status of a licence here

So what is the difference between a Certifying Plumber and a Tradesman Plumber?

  1. The Certifying class is the highest qualification available.
  2. Certifiers have shown that they have the required skills to design, manage the installation of, and test and certify their own work, as well as be responsible for the work of those they supervise.
  3. They are the only ones that can sign off on official work (e.g. sign off compliance documents for local councils).
  4. Plumbers registered and holding a current licence in the Tradesman class have shown they have the skills required to work in their trade (the knowledge, experience and practical ability to install, test, commission, fault-find, and maintain sanitary plumbing systems). A Certifier must however supervise their work.


Wim Van Sande is a Certifying Plumber and has held this class since August 2013. That means that when Wim comes to compete work at your property you are not only using a fully qualified, licenced and registered plumber, you are also benefitting from the experience of a Certifying Plumber. Often in the bigger plumbing companies you are never quite sure who you are going to get, or what level of skill and experience they may have. Here at Custom Plumbing Services we would be happy to help with your plumbing needs but whoever you decide to go with, we recommend that you do the following before engaging a plumber:

  1. Ask to see their practising licence and check that it is still current. (you can also check that online
  2. Check what class is shown on the front of the licence to ensure that the type of work they are completing is allowed under their registration type.
  3. If the work is being completed by anyone other than the certifying tradesperson, check that the name (and licence status) of the registered certifying tradesperson who is responsible for certifying and verifying that the work is compliant and safe.



© Copyright 2020

© Copyright 2020