Complain about a building practitioner with other qualifications

Last updated: 17 April 2024

Some building practitioners are able to do or supervise some restricted building work because of their professional qualification.

They do not appear on the LBP register, but you can complain to the Building Practitioners Board about these practitioners. However your complaint may be referred to the relevant professional body. This will be dependent on the type of work carried out.

  • You can report a tradesperson whether or not they are registered or licensed.
  • You can complain about a registered or licensed person to their regulatory board for work or behaviour that falls short of the standards they need to abide by.
  • A board can't award you any compensation or order the tradesperson to repair the negligent work, but they can discipline the tradesperson or take away their licence, protecting other people from also being ripped off.
  • Try to make your complaint as soon as possible and provide as much information as you can — the more time goes by, the harder the complaint will be to investigate.
  • If you need work repaired or finished, you will need to organise another tradesperson to do it. An industry board can't recoup any costs for you.
  • You will need to go through the disputes tribunal process if you want the original tradesperson to pay for extra work.

Make a complaint

Electrical work quality

You can make a complaint to Electrical Workers Registration Board (EWRB) if you're worried about the safety of any electrical work.

The EWRB will investigate and can take enforcement action against the electrician by:

  • fining them
  • suspending or removing their registration
  • disqualifying them from doing electrical work.

The EWRB can't award you any compensation for losses or damages.

Making a complaint  with the Electrical Workers Registration Board -

Building work quality, registration, and licensing

Licensed building practitioners have ethical obligations which are set out in a code of ethics.

The code of ethics is made up of 19 standards, sitting under the following 4 key principles:

  1. Work safely
  2. Act within the law
  3. Take responsibility for your actions
  4. Behave professionally.

Licensed building practitioners code of ethics - 

If a licensed building practitioner does not comply with their obligations, a complaint can be made against them which may result in disciplinary action by the Building Practitioners Board.

Complaints about someone breaching the code of ethics can only be made if the breach took place after 25 October 2022.

The Building Practitioners Board can't award you any compensation for losses or damages.

Make a complaint with the licensed building practitioners -

You can report an unregistered person doing restricted building work, or pretending to be licensed, to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Report an unlicensed building practitioner

Plumber, gasfitter and drainlayer's work quality

You can make a complaint about work being done negligently or incompetently to the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board (PGBD).

The PGDB investigates complaints against registered plumbers, gasfitters, or drainlayers, or people who may be illegally undertaking plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying work.

The PGDB can:

  • cancel, restrict or suspend licences
  • censure the person
  • order them to do further training, or
  • fining them.

The Plumber Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board (PGBD) can't award you any compensation for losses or damages, or order repairs to fix any negligent work.

Make a complaint about a plumber, gasfitter or drainlayer  -

Engineer's work quality or authenticity

You can make a complaint to Engineering New Zealand about a registered engineer or a person unlawfully claiming to be an engineer.

You can complain that an engineer has:

  • breached the engineers’ Code of Ethics
  • been negligent or incompetent
  • misrepresented something or mislead you.

Code of ethical conduct -

If the complaint relates to a licensed building practitioner under the Building Act, Engineering New Zealand will refer the complaint to the Registrar of Licensed Building Practitioners.

Engineering New Zealand can't award you any compensation for losses or damages, or order repairs to fix any negligent work.

Engineering concerns -

If you're unhappy with Engineering New Zealand's decision, you can appeal it with the Chartered Professional Engineers Council.

Appeal a decision -


If you think a tradesperson has breached your privacy, you can make a complaint to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

Make a complaint -

This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: