New Plymouth man fined $18,000 for unauthorised electrical work

Tauke Whana of New Plymouth has been sentenced in the Rotorua District Court on charges of doing unauthorised prescribed electrical work; doing an act intending to cause another person to believe he was registered or licensed; and issuing a certificate of compliance in relation to particular prescribed electrical work when not authorized to certify that work.

He was fined $18,000, and ordered to repay solicitor and court costs.

In 2015, Whana told a family member that he was a licensed electrician and could install wiring in a home the family member was building. Whana was engaged to undertake the work, which involved a complete electrical fit out of the new property. He then issued a an electrical certificate of compliance once the work was complete with a false registration number.

It was later found that the unauthorised prescribed electrical work carried out by Mr Whana was faulty and potentially dangerous.

Registrar of the Electrical Workers Registration Board (EWRB) John Sickels says that this case should serve as a timely reminder to ensure consumers always use a licensed electrical worker and ask for certification for all work carried out.

“This case is unique in that the defendant was found to be deceiving his own family about his qualifications to carry out electrical work,” says Mr Sickels.

“It’s important that people always ensure their electrical worker is licensed to do the job, even when the person carrying out the work is someone they know well.”

“The Board will continue to prosecute people who operate outside the law. Installing wiring and other electrical work is highly specialised and needs to be conducted by qualified professionals.”

“We will continue to be vigilant in relation to unregistered and unlicensed workers and will prosecute wherever necessary,” says Mr Sickels.

The EWRB was established in 1992 and is responsible for the ongoing competency of over 30,000 registered electrical and electronic workers in New Zealand. Part of the function of the Board is to exercise disciplinary powers and bring prosecutions where necessary under the Electricity Act 1992.