Making a complaint
You can make a complaint about an LBP who has carried out work that you believe to be unsatisfactory. You can also make a complaint if you think an LBP has behaved in a way that breaches the code of ethics.
Before making a complaint
Answer these short questions to find out whether you can make a complaint.
Who can you complain about
Anyone can make a complaint about a licensed building practitioner. These complaints are made to the Building Practitioner Board, who investigate and determine complaints, and decide on any penalties following a complaint hearing.
Your complaint can relate to building work (including design work) or poor behaviour related to building work. The Board cannot hear complaints regarding payment disputes; commercial or contractual disputes including employment disputes.
To be able to make a complaint about an LBP you need to ensure that:
- The person you are complaining about was an LBP when the conduct occurred.
- The conduct you are complaining about should come within one or more of the ‘grounds for discipline’ listed in section 317 of the Building Act 2004. (see below)
- You can provide sufficient evidence to support your complaint.
- Your complaint is made on the approved form.
Here are a couple of useful guides to explain the complaint process and what to expect.
Grounds for discipline
A complaint to the Board regarding the conduct of an LBP should fall within at least one of the disciplinary grounds summarised below:
To be considered for disciplinary sanction, the LBP must have:
- carried out or supervised building work or building inspection work in a negligent or incompetent manner.
- carried out or supervised building work or building inspection work that does not comply with a building consent.
- held himself or herself out as being licensed to carry out or supervise building work or building inspection work of a type that, at that time, he or she was not licensed to carry out or supervise.
- carried out (other than as an owner-builder) or supervised restricted building work or building inspection work of a type that he or she is not licensed to carry out or supervise.
- been convicted, whether before or after he or she is licensed, by any court in New Zealand or elsewhere of any offence punishable by imprisonment for a term of 6 months or more, and the commission of the offence reflects adversely on the person's fitness to carry out or supervise building work or building inspection work.
- for the purpose of becoming licensed himself or herself, or for the purpose of any other person becoming licensed,
- either orally or in writing, made any declaration or representation, knowing it to be false or misleading in a material particular; or
- produced to the Registrar or made use of any document, knowing it to contain a declaration or representation referred to in subparagraph (i) above; or
- produced to the Registrar or made use of any document, knowing that it was not genuine.
- failed, without good reason, in respect of a building consent that relates to restricted building work that he or she is to carry out (other than as an owner-builder) or supervise, or has carried out (other than as an owner-builder) or supervised, (as the case may be),
- to provide a certificate of work about any plans and specifications required to accompany the building consent application; or
- to provide the owner and the territorial authority with a record of work on completion of the restricted building work, in accordance with section 88(1).
- behaved in a way that breaches the code of ethics.
- breached section 314B of the Building Act (which provides that an LBP must not misrepresent his or her competence, and must carry out or supervise building work only within his or her competence).
- conducted himself or herself in a manner that brings, or is likely to bring, the regime under the Building Act for LBPs into disrepute.
Complaints that may not proceed
Your complaint may not be investigated further if:
- you did not correctly complete the approved complaint form
- you made your complaint anonymously
- you did not name the LBP
- your complaint is found not to come within at least one of the grounds for discipline;
- you did not provide enough evidence to support your complaint
- your complaint is found to be frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith
- the conduct you complained about is found to be minor or trivial
- investigation of your complaint is not practicable or is unnecessary
- it is not possible to investigate your complaint (i.e. because the LBP is deceased) or
- the Board has already made a decision about the conduct you have complained about.
Before completing a Complaint form you may find it helpful to read some examples of complaints that have not proceeded.