Making a complaint
You can make a complaint about any person or company that has carried out prescribed electrical work that you believe to be unsatisfactory.
Reporting safety issues
If you're worried about the safety of any electrical work contact us.
If you think an installation or a product is unsafe, contact Energy Safety(external link) (part of Worksafe) on Freephone: 0800 030 040.
Having a stand-off over electrical work? Use our free Report-A-Cowboy App to report anonymously. Available from the App Store(external link), Google Play(external link), or download from the PGDB website(external link).
Who can you complain about
Registered and authorised workers
You can lodge a complaint about anyone registered or authorised by the Board to carry out electrical work for the public.
Search the register(external link) to check if a person is registered and licensed.
- electrical service technicians
- electrical inspectors
- trainees (apprentices)
- line mechanics
- qualified electrical engineers
- tradespersons (plumbers and gasfitters with an electrical work certificate)
- provisional licence holders.
If your complaint is about a registered or authorised worker, your complaint will be investigated by an Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) appointed Investigator.
A copy of the Investigators report will be provided to you, the person you complained about and to the Board. The Board will consider the Investigator's report and recommendations.
Non-registered or unauthorised workers and companies
You can also complain about a company or person or persons who were not authorised or licensed to undertake electrical work.
If your complaint is about an unregistered or unauthorised worker, or a company, your complaint will be investigated by an MBIE appointed Investigator and a report with the findings will be provided to the Board. The Board will determine the appropriate action such as prosecution if justified.
Prosecution proceedings are dealt with in the District Court where fines of up to $50,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a company can be imposed.
The Board can only consider matters relating to the safety and compliance of electrical work.
Disputes Tribunal of New Zealand(external link) handles matters relating to overcharging, damage to property or other matters of unsatisfactory service delivery.
Consumer Guarantees Act(external link) includes guarantees for services and outlines remedies for unsatisfactory services.
Lodging your complaint
A complaint about electrical work must be made in writing and sent to the Registrar. You need to tell the Registrar:
- where and when the electrical work was done
- who asked for the electrical work to be done
- who did it and their registration (if known) and contact details
- the name and address of any company involved (if applicable)
- what electrical work was done
- what you think is wrong with the electrical work or the way it was done
- your full contact details.
Provide supporting documents
You should provide copies of any relevant documents:
- certificates of compliance
- photographs of the work.
Submitting a complaint
Use this form to lodge your complaint. However, complaints made in writing, by email or letter, provided they contain all of the details listed above, are acceptable.
Investigating your complaint
Before any complaints are investigated, the Registrar will determine that the complaint is not frivolous or vexatious.
Factors that the Registrar considers are:
- if there are sufficient grounds on which the complaint has been based
- has the complaint been made within a reasonable time of the events giving rise to the complaint
- does the complaint have a collateral purpose
- have the issues raised been dealt with previously.
If the Registrar does not consider your complaint to be frivolous or vexatious the Registrar will appoint an Investigator, acknowledge the receipt of your complaint and advise that your complaint will be investigated.
If the Registrar considers that your complaint is of a frivolous or vexatious nature or doesn't warrant an investigation the Registrar will acknowledge the receipt of your complaint and advise you that no action will be taken.
As part of the investigation, the Investigator will:
- provide full details of the complaint to the worker you have complained about. Your name will be released to that person unless you provide very good reasons not to;
- seek additional/supporting information and/or seek clarification of information you have provided;
- seek information from other parties involved and from witnesses; and
- give the person complained about the chance to provide an explanation in response to your complaint.
The Investigator may:
- have an independent person investigate the electrical work (usually a registered electrical Inspector);
- ask that any information (from you or other parties) is supported by a statutory declaration; and/or
- enter any land or premises for the purpose of the investigation (if necessary, a Court Order can be obtained for this purpose).
The Investigator considers the complaint and the information provided by all parties and prepares an Investigator report for the Board.
If your complaint is about a non-registered or unauthorised worker or a company the Board will, following investigation, determine appropriate action such as prosecution if justified.
If the complaint is about a registered person and the Investigator determines the complaint should not be heard by the Board, the matter ends there. However, if the Investigator determines the complaint should be heard by the Board, the Board must hold a disciplinary hearing to determine whether or not it should exercise its disciplinary powers.
The purpose of the hearing is to determine if a disciplinary offence has been committed by the registered worker you have complained about, and if it has, to decide what discipline and penalties are to be imposed.
Read more about Board hearings.
The investigation of a complaint should take less than 16 weeks, unless matters are particularly complex or important information is not available. If the Investigator determines that a hearing is required, the timing of this will depend on the Board’s sitting dates and location. Every effort will be made to reach an outcome as soon as possible.