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Thread: The Plumbing Trade NZ.

  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Unhappy Help with PGDB !!

    Hi Bev,
    Iam having trouble getting the PGDB to send me my part registration, which is holding up our visas. I would be grateful of the past papers , as I have the same trouble as your husband. We hope to be in auckland by sept just in time to register for the exam!! I have no information on the exam they expect me to sit in nov.
    Thanks Gary & Helen

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Mapua,nr Nelson NZ June 2004


    Hi Gary and Helen.

    I have sent you a quick PM

    If what you are waiting for is the results of the PGDB assessment of your UK plumbing/gasfitting qualifications, work exp. etc, then all you can do is keep on chasing them.
    What you need is a letter which states that your quals/work exp and UK licenses are considered good enough to be allowed to sit the PGDB reg. exams & take practical assessments.
    This assessment is acceptable to the NZIS as proof that your quals meet the standard required under a skilled migrant category for either a PR application or for a work visa.
    The PGDB are quite capable of emailing a copy of this letter over to you.

    That is not a part-registration but simply an assessment of the standard of your UK quals and work exp etc.

    If , however, you have an NZ job offer within the plumbing/gasfitting trade then perhaps what you are waiting for is your Limited Licnece to allow you to legally work within the trade. In that case, get your NZ employer to put the squeeze on the PGDB.
    Again the PGDB can email over a copy of the letter which would have your Limited License number on it. That would satisfy NZIS.
    Double check with this, that your NZ employer has actually filled in his part of the Limited License application.

    Perhaps update me on exactly you are with the whole process.

    Job Offer ?
    PGDB qual and work exp assessment application ?
    Limited License application ?

    NZIS - a work visa using skilled migrant category ?
    - wanting to complete and submit EOI for PR?

    A further thought ---

    Two months is not much time at all to prepare for the 9192 plumbing registration exam. I will send some examples of the types of questions you can expect .
    Last edited by bevsere; 29th May 2006 at 08:13 PM.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Question gas fitters/plumbers

    ow long is the time scale for starting up on your own as a plumber/gas fitter? has anyone got anything possitive to say about the process? can you live on $50,000 a year with no mortgage?

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Auckland, NZ (formerly U.S.A)


    After reading this thread, I can see why there is a problem .

    This is just insane. It's important to have standards, but it sounds to me as though the exams are being used by the experienced plumbers who write them as a way to haze new plumbers... sort of the same way that established doctors insist that residents (junior doctors) should have to work 90-120 hours a week, just because they had to when they were residents (the excuse being given that they won't see enough cases to become properly trained if they actually work reasonable hours).

    It's certainly a good way for those experienced plumbers to ensure that their ability to charge high fees remains intact, no?

    Perhaps this little shakeup will precipitate a major change in the plumbing certification system here...

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    Quote Originally Posted by bevsere
    A migrant plumber may not just go self-employed.

    1] First step is the limited license, which you must have ,to work legally with plumbing or gas.
    Even then , you will be on a lower rate of pay, and must be supervised by a Registered Craftsman with all your work being inspected and signed off.
    [ok plumbing guys - we know thats not what happens in practice and why]

    2] Take & pass the annual registration exams. UK qualification assessment before this is allowed by PGDB....IF UK quals not acceptable to PGDB also sit and pass National exams.

    3] Sit practical assessments.Full-time at a training provider, 3 wks plumbing , 1wk gas. [however no-one seems to have settled on what exactly this will entail for the migrant] For us it means one month away in Wellington - unpaid , plus funding the course and accom. etc.

    4] Work within your trade as a Registered plumber etc. for two years.

    5] Following two years, sit your Master Craftsman exam and any further practical assessments.

    6] Bingo . Three /Four years on you are now a Master Craftsman Kiwi style and are allowed to legally become self-employed in NZ..... if you have survived financially - that is.

    This does not apply to those with the means to set up a plumbing business , as opposed to self employment , and employ said Master and Registered craftsmen.

    We know another plumber up here in Nelson who is on $17 per hour plus 50 cents tool allowance. Went for another job and got offered $15 per hour.
    When we were job hunting the rate did vary. In Hastings Phil was offered just $17 per hour.
    A company in Wanaka offered him $22 plus tool allowance, but it was just too expensive to live there at all.
    We didn't get to Christchurch or Dunners, cos we settled on the Nelson job offer.

    Couple of chippies we know of here are on $15 per hour.. though Phil met one on site that was $17 per hour.. thats good for a chippy. Chippies do seem to be the worst paid here, unless they go on to be builders themselves.


    THe company Phil works for ,Days, has just been bought by a Christchurch Maintenance company. The new owners are Geoff something or other!. We have hopes for these new owners.

    We know a bloke who was in Tauranga [ now in the UK again] who was bitten by a spider whilst under the house and ended up in hospital for a couple of weeks. Those hatches are a bit of a joke eh?

    Phil sat the exam and got 59%. We have sent in the paper for reconsideration. Yet more money forked out. Going to evening college is a great way to get your hands on the necessary info. re the exam.Unfortunately, up here, the nearest place for this is Wellington. Phil did go away on a refresher two day course I found, in Auckland.

    We do have several exam questions and answers, which I would copy and send to anyone interested. Likewise the refresher course info.

    Re attitudes... well , lets just say , not what one , as adults, would have expected. Will PM you on this as suggested.

    Anyone else in trades out there at all????????
    lain if you could please send info on refresher course also a sample of questions and answers. thanks dave.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Mapua,nr Nelson NZ June 2004

    Smile NZ plumbing and registration.

    Hi there .
    We've been away visiting dear old Blighty, so I didn't see these posts until just now. I do tend to trawl through the migrant forums on the look out for plumbers and gasfitters looking for information.
    It is me that has details of old exam papers and the refresher course.
    If you are still interested , send me a PM.

    Brand new to the PGDB website are the past two years exam papers which may be downloaded for free. I do have further examples of the types of Q&A you might expect though.
    What you most need to become a self-employed plumber and/or gasfitter is patience and perseverance at the present time.
    It could be that the new Board members will eventually look at the registration process for overseas migrants. As far as I am aware that is not on their agenda right now.

    Robbo, below is the time-scale as it now stands.

    Work for an NZ plumber/gasfitter as an employee under a PGDB Limited Licence when you first arrive in NZ.

    Sit the Registration exams the first November and gain a pass over 60%.
    The following year sit the Common business paper and the year after that you will be allowed to sit the Craftsman exams. Only after you pass these are you legally allowed to be self-employed. The shortest time possible that I can see is two and a half years.

    I know that the papers stated that the Board had been sacked. Thing is the Board members are rotated anyway. I think they serve three years before a new Board is elected.
    Applications to apply were sent out months back.
    The issues are really about trade training of NZ apprentices with the ITOs in the red corner [ responsible for turning out enough new plumbers to ease the chronic shortage] and the PGDB [ responsible to Health and Safety and the consumer] in the blue corner. There was a breakdown in the relationship between the two and the Master Plumbers Assn at least a year ago, if not more. Of course, its also about money.

    but it sounds to me as though the exams are being used by the experienced plumbers who write them as a way to haze new plumbers...
    This is a reasonable take in a way.

    One has to be hopeful that the entire registration program will be shaken up. However, there is a need to ensure that the apprentice plumbers coming through the NZ ITOs and passing the National Certificate are meeting the ANZRA standards. The trade has been far too insular and precious about its standards, workmanship and methods in past years. It needs to move forward with the times.

    As migrants , we have to hope that they will include a route to registration specifically for the overseas migrant plumber/gasfitter. At present they are required to go down the tedious, long-winded route that final year NZ apprentices are required to walk. Many fall by the wayside and the NZ Dept of Labour report there there have been successive years where they have lost more migrant plumbers than they have gained.

    Having said all that, NZ is a great place to live once you are here. For some all the effort seems worth it.

    BTW - If you are married with a couple of kids & no mortgage, I would think you will be able to manage on $50K.

    Have you a job offer at $25 per hour then , out of interest ?

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    So the ONLY way for a master plumber from the US, who has 10+ years experience--and currently owns a company employing 10 apprentice and journeyman plumbers who he oversees--to become licensed there is to take one exam, wait a year, take another exam and wait a year and take another exam?
    If they are on the same path as an apprentice (read: starting over) then why does NZIS want someone with Level 4 training/skills and experience??????
    Seriously, if you have to start over completely--why do you need any background in the trade?
    This may well curb our enthusiasm for moving.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Mapua,nr Nelson NZ June 2004


    You do not start completely over. You are not asked to do an apprenticeship.

    It is not the same path as NZ apprentices. Apprentices undergo the usual 4 years time served type training plus on-going assessments and block courses. Once they have completed that and gained the NZ National Certificate, they can then sit the PGDB registration exams. They wait two years before being allowed to sit Craftsman papers.

    Plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying are stand alone skills in Nz and each has its own set of exams.

    Any overseas plumber has to go the same route towards becoming NZ registered. It doesn't matter how qualified you feel you are or how many decades of work experience. The overseas qualifications will only be part-way recognised.

    My husband was extremely well qualified with 30 years experience.

    You have your overseas quals assessed by the

    If it is a positive outcome then they will allow you to sit their registration exam which happens twice a year.

    A pass in that and maybe a practical assessment means you are a registered NZ plumber.

    It does not mean you can become self-employed .

    For that you must sit a further 2 exams one of which is a business paper.

    If the PGDB feels your qualifications and work experience are not comparable to the NZ ones and are not quite the ANZRA standard, they they may require one undergoes further training before even sitting registration exams.

    Yes. Against many of the trades and other skills listed, it is a bit tough but thats how it is. The PGDB comes under Health and Safety. ANZRA standards have to be satisfied.

    To apply to migrate under the skilled migrant category, NZIS requires proof that the would-be migrant is skilled as claimed. If you state you are a plumber wanting to do a plumbers job then they want proof you are already a plumber.
    NZIS do not concern themselves with what it takes to become NZ registered in the plumbing trade. They would concern themselves however,that you had the appropriate licence if you had a job offer. They would want to see proof of your PGDB limited licence.

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