NZTG echoes council’s shoddy building supplies concerns
NZ Trade Group says it shares Auckland Council’s concerns that the current construction boom is resulting in tradespeople turning to alternative, substandard materials and products.
In an ominous warning for homeowners, NZTG General Manager Andrew Jameson says the true extent of the flood of substandard building supplies may not be realised for years to come.
Auckland Council’s building control team recently told media it was seeing more alternative products and materials being used than ever before as a result of the current construction boom which has brought with it material delays and price increases.
Electrical wiring has been highlighted as an area of concern, something which Jameson says NZTG, a nationwide membership organisation for electricians, has experienced first-hand.
“NZTG contractors will often be called in to fix the faults of other electricians which can be a real eye opener. In many cases the material may not meet minimum NZ standards.
“Cheap electrical product is not just substandard in terms of life span and functionality, it can be potentially dangerous. And it will probably take a few years to discover the installed faulty material as those products start to fail,” says Jameson.
He’s warning home owners, organisations and developers against going cheap at the expense of quality and customer safety.
“The problem is that those using these cheap, substandard materials are generally substandard tradespeople.
“I know of cases where these substandard contractors do not even issue a CoC (Certificate of Compliance) in conjunction with their work which in turn means that insurance providers may not pay out should something go wrong,” explains Jameson.
He adds that the electricians using these low-cost products are lowering the public’s price expectations for electrical work and harming the industry.
“The danger it creates is that a reputable contractor is deemed as “too expensive” when in reality they are competing against someone that is using cheap and potentially non-compliant product.”
Part of the problem, in Jameson’s eyes, is that homeowners aren’t able to differentiate reputable product from second-rate alternatives when it comes to lighting, plastics and electrical cable.
He has some advice for homeowners, organisations and developers when choosing which electrician to go with:
“It’s important to check the contractor you’re engaging with has a current electrical practicing licence and is legally able to do the work. Check that the products they are supplying have SDoCs (Supplier Declaration of Conformity). If these are not available, you could be in all sorts of trouble if something is to go wrong with the product used – insurance companies may not pay out.
“It is just as important to also to ensure you receive a CoC (Certificate of Compliance) or ESC (Electrical Safety Certificate) for any prescribed electrical work.”
He adds that NZTG requires all of its members to use reputable products and issue all the correct compliance documentation.
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