EWRB v Duncan Bennett

The Board prosecuted Duncan Bennett in the North Shore District Court for carrying out PEW without any authorisation to do so. The PEW included the installation of a spa pool and relocation of power points during a renovation. The work was later found to be electrically unsafe and to pose a danger to life.

Mr Bennett was fined $7,650 and ordered to pay court costs and solicitor’s costs after he pleaded guilty to the charges of performing unauthorised PEW and holding himself as a registered electrician under the Electricity Act 1992. Mr Bennett also pleaded guilty to doing work in a manner dangerous to life and has been ordered to pay $1,417 reparation to the homeowner.

The matter came to the Board’s attention after a complaint was made about the installation of a heat pump. Following completion, the homeowner asked Mr Bennett if he was a registered electrician; he said that he was and returned to the house at least seven times to carry out prescribed electrical work while unsupervised, unlicensed and not registered. The homeowner had originally hired Mr Bennett after seeing an advertisement on Facebook.

Mr Bennett had previously held a Limited Certificate with the EWRB on two occasions, which would have permitted him to carry out PEW when supervised by a licensed electrical worker. At the time he carried out the work, his Limited Certificate had expired, and he was not authorised to undertake PEW.

The case is a good reminder to always check the register when working with persons to make sure that they are authorised to carry out PEW.