Christchurch man fined for employing unlicensed student to carry out electrical work

An unlicensed electrical worker has been prosecuted and fined $2550 in the Christchurch District Court for permitting a University student to carry out prescribed electrical work on his property.

“Tu Nguyen employed the student despite having hired an electrical company to complete the electrical work on his property,” says Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Investigations Team Leader Simon Thomas. 

Mr Nguyen also carried out prescribed electrical work himself on the property while he was not licensed or registered by the Electrical Workers Registration Board.

“This is an example of a homeowner taking dangerous shortcuts, which can endanger the lives of anyone in the house, at any time. Simply put, it’s unlawful to undertake prescribed electrical work, unless you’re licensed to do so - whether it’s your house or not,” says Mr Thomas.

Mr Nguyen contracted a company to project manage proposed developments to the property. The contractor then sub-contracted an electrical company to complete the electrical work on the property.

“The electrical company had locked out the power supply for before leaving for the weekend, but then Mr Nguyen and the student entered the property over the weekend and carried out electrical work themselves,” says Mr Thomas.

“This included installing data and power sockets, installing switchboard fuses and LED lights.

“When the electrical company employee returned to the property he found the lockout had been removed and the power livened. The employee also found safety issues with live cables on the property.

“The employee then rightfully shut off the power supply and refused to continue or certify the work. He returned three days later to find the power had been turned back on, and reported the incident.

“The employee did the right thing in reporting Mr Nguyen. He does not hold the valid licence to carry out prescribed electrical work, this type of work when incorrectly installed can result in fire or serious harm.

“He certainly should not be permitting an unlicensed student to be undertaking dangerous electrical work that should only be carried out by a licensed and registered electrical worker.”

“Licensed electrical workers are professionals who have the skills and expertise to do the job safely and correctly. Where prescribed electrical work isn’t being carried out by a licensed electrical worker, our team will investigate, ensuring the safety of New Zealanders.”