Motorhome owners should ensure their electrical work is done by trained people, the electricians' registration watchdog is warning.
Electrical Workers Registration Board registrar of electrical licensing John Sickels, said if a person could not furnish a licence, there was a fair chance they were not authorised to do the work.
"You can't go around doing it willy-nilly," he said.
Mr Sickels was responding to a Waitara man's conviction in the New Plymouth District Court this week for breaching the Electricity Act through performing unauthorised work when he and a former friend rewired his friend's motorhome.
A certifying electrician reported the work when he found it to be wrongly wired and dangerous.
"The big problem is that it's very difficult to see if some electrical work is defective if you are not an electrical worker.
"Provided things are operating, you probably thinking it's safe but a lot of the time it may not be safe and that's where the problems come in. That's the danger of it."
There were more than 40,000 registered electricians in New Zealand and the board investigated 60 to 70 complaints a year, Mr Sickels said.
He was unable to say how widespread the illegal work might be because it was hard to tell if there were a lot more doing unregistered work about which the board was not being informed, he said.
"Certainly of the ones we are told of, we investigate all of them, " Mr Sickels said.
A good percentage of those would proceed to court.
Electricians had an obligation to inform the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment as well as the property owner if they saw something untoward, he said.
Once the motorhome owner received certification (similar to a warrant of fitness) they could then plug into the electricity supply in caravan parks.
COMPLAINTS AND PROSECUTIONS
NZERB complaints and prosecutions for 2012 and 2013.
38 complaints in last year received against non-registered people.
Some of these complaints are yet to be resolved.
16 cases have been referred for prosecution (some from previous year). A greater number receive warnings.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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