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Occupational licensing

Occupational licensing aims to ensure that people in the building industry who are responsible for the work done are competent and accountable, so that homes and buildings are designed and built right the first time.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) administers occupational licensing in six areas. They are:

Licensed Building Practitioners

This scheme was introduced in November 2007. From 1 March 2012, building practitioners must be licensed in order to carry out or supervise work on homes and small-medium sized apartment buildings that is critical to the integrity of the building.

This 'Restricted Building Work’ includes the design and construction of foundations, framing, roofing and cladding. It also applies to the design of active fire safety systems in small-medium sized apartment buildings.

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Electrical workers

The Electrical Workers Registration Board was established in 1992 to promote safety for all New Zealanders by ensuring the competence of electrical and electronic workers.

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Plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers

The purpose of the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act 2006 is to protect the health and safety of the public by ensuring the competency of persons who provide sanitary plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying services.

The Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board (the Board) is established to administer the Act. The Board is a statutory entity and therefore is responsible to Parliament. The Board exists independently of MBIE.

The Act, which came into force on 1 April 2010, replaced the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act 1976. The Act introduced:

  • Competence-based licensing for plumbers and drainlayers (this already existed for gasfitters)
  • Greater accountability and transparency arrangements for the Board including requiring the Board to produce an output agreement and an annual report to be tabled in Parliament; as well as becoming subject to the Official Information Act.

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Registered architects

The Registered Architects Act 2005 protects the title of Registered Architect. Only persons registered with the New Zealand Registered Architects Board (NZRAB) may use words, initials, or abbreviations of the title Registered Architect.

The Act provides a framework for ensuring the competence of registered architects by requiring them to undertake continuing professional development. The Act also puts in place measures to discipline registered architects.

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Chartered professional engineers

The Chartered Professional Engineers Act 2002 protects the title of Chartered Professional Engineer. Only persons registered with the Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand (IPENZ) may use words, initials, or abbreviations of the title Chartered Professional Engineer.

The Act provides a framework for ensuring the competence of chartered professional engineers by requiring them to undertake continuing professional development. The Act also puts in places measures to discipline chartered professional engineers.

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Engineering associates

The Engineering Associates Act 1961 establishes a voluntary registration framework for engineering associates. The Act provides for the training and experience a person must have before they may be registered as an engineering associate.

The Act establishes the Registered Engineering Associates (REA) to oversee the registration and discipline of engineering associates.

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