GUIDING HOME OWNERS, BUYERS, SELLERS & INVESTORS

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HOW TO FIND A RELIABLE TRADESMAN

When getting any work done on a property, you often need to find more than one type of tradesman to get the job done.

Below are NZ Directories Of Licensed Builders, Painters, Plumbers, Gas Fitters, Drain Layers & Electricians - all in one hub.

We have also centralised industry guides on trade quotes, contracts, budgets, payments and consents.

If you're thinking of DIY, make sure you check the DIY trade guidelines first.

No licence, no comeback

The links below will take you to the relevant bodies governing the main trades, so you can easily and quickly check if a trades person is licensed before you contact or commit to them for any work on your property.

Dire consequences if work is substandard

The consequences of not hiring a Registered Master Builder (RMB) or a licensed trades person can be devastating.

If your trades person is not licensed, you risk having no come back should their work be sub-standard or non-compliant.

A building inspection conducted for a buyer or seller of a property is often the point when sub-standard work is identified - and by which time it can make it even harder to address with the tradesman responsible.

Due diligence when choosing a tradesperson

People often use a friend or personal referral when choosing a trades person but this is no exception for not checking the relevant authority.

Take heed also from the many Christchurch home owners who have suffered from sub-standard workmanship when getting post earthquake repairs done, even when builders have been licensed. In many cases, the repairs have had to be repaired.


The Inland Revenue Department is cracking down on trades people doing cash jobs so don't put your trades person at risk by offering a 'cashie'.


Licensing body for all building trades

Licensed Building Practitioners (LPB's) are licensed by the Government's Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and include designers, carpenters, brick and block layers, roofers, external plasterers, site and foundations specialists.

LBPs are building practitioners who have been assessed as competent to carry out building work essential to the structure or weather tightness of residential buildings. A tradesman who is a LBP will likely have the LPB logo on their business card or other communications with you.

On the Public Register of Licensed Building Practitioners (LBP's), you can check if a person is licensed, view their license history and find out if they have been disciplined in the last three years.

Membership body for builders only

The Registered Master Builders Association (RMBA) is a membership body for licensed builders only.

All RMBA members are required to meet quality criteria, and are assessed on the following:

  • Building experience
  • Trade and professional qualifications
  • Practical management experience,
  • Workmanship and financial responsibility

If you already have a building practitioner lined up to do some work on your property, check that they’re a Registered Master Builder, just enter their name here.

To find a Licensed Building Practitioner search the MBIE Public Register here.

RMBA provides consumer protection

GUARANTEE: Only a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) who is a member of the RMBA can offer the peace of mind of a 10-year Master Build Guarantee on residential work.

COMPLAINTS PROCESS: The RMBA has an independent complaint process available to those who use a Registered Master Builder should it be needed.

Having an unlicensed builder doing shoddy work is one of the most expensive and devastating mistakes consumers can make.

It's too late for regret when a building inspection shows unlevel flooring, or a multitude of other issues is uncovered during a building inspection.

This has been very evident in post-earthquake Christchurch rebuild and repair projects, just adding to the despair many have suffered.

Industry body for painters

Don't get us started on shoddy paint jobs!

They can look terrible, cost more, require repairing and have a shorter life. A completely preventable situation and it's all up to you.

Master Painters NZ exists to protect the consumer by having a code of practice that painters must abide by.

You can find a Master Painter, raise a concern, download helpful fact sheets or get a quote by Master Plumbers in your area.

On this page, just add your area and all Master Painters available will show. It's that easy.

Industry body for plumbers/gasfitters and drainlayers

The Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board is the place to find help and advice on these trades.

Complaints can be made to the board or if you know of someone working unlawfully in this field, this is also the place to go.

If you're not exactly sure what service you need, you can find out exactly what each type of tradesman is licensed to do here.

If you need a Master Plumber, search for one for your area here.

If they're not on the list, you shouldn't be using them to work on your property.

The consequences of unaligned or leaky plumbing can be far reaching, well beyond what is immediately visible.

When contemplating a plumbing, drainlaying or gasfitting job, ask for help to make a sound decision.

New Zealand industry body for electricians

Licensed electricians can be found on the Master Electricians website by searching your area and type of work needing to be done.

If selling a house, inspecting the age and quality of electrical wiring in a property is often a priority for buyers so they can determine what might need to be spent on the property.

As a seller, have this information up front for buyers and if you have any illegal work done, get it redone and a compliance certificate before you start the real estate process.

WISE UP TIP: For properties built prior to 1938, an electrical warrant of fitness is often required for getting insurance approved.


Be cautious about who you hand your keys to. Have you seen their registration card to do your work?

Consumer Protection help about quotes, contracts and estimates

Consumer Protection is a Government organisation under the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) that serves to protect the consumer.

In relation to engaging tradespeople to work on your property, there is advice here about over-charging or incomplete work and getting quotes and estimates. You should be informed about whether you need to have a contract with your tradesman.

Make sure you ask a trades person for their authorisation card to do the work and if they don't have one, don't use them.

Kiwis often use friends or family 'tradies' to do their DIY jobs, always view their license card.

You can also see information about the Consumer Guarantees Act here and whether you may be able to use this avenue for seeking remedy to any issues you may have had.

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