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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Mapua,nr Nelson NZ June 2004
    Posts
    85

    Default The Plumbing Trade NZ.

    Hi guys.

    I would be very pleased to read about aspirations, experiences or simply comments and facts from any plumbers & gasfitters either still in the UK or already out in NZ.

    My husband is currently plumbing here in Nelson. There is little gas work here and no reticulated supply. Solar is his specialised subject. I woz an accountant in a previous life.No more, thank goodness. We don't have children.
    His rate of pay is $21 per hour and $1 tool allowance.
    The plumbing and gasfitting trade here, in practice, is quite different from the UK we have found, as are some of the attitudes.
    Phil has just sat the PGDB plumbing registration exam. Has anyone else just been through this ?
    What did you think of the standard of the exam ....Autopsy table question springs to mind.
    Did you enjoy the mathematical equations .. have you EVER used them in day to day working practice?
    How have you found the PGDB to be with regard to help and information.
    Likewise your employer.
    Does anyone have any actual hard facts regarding the illusive, mysterious , practical asessment requirements. Rumour is three weeks unpaid for a block practical course for plumbing. Same - one week for Gas. Maybe Wellington or Auckland.
    Can anyone see themselves being able to go self employed in a few years time, after all the red tape, practical assessments, registration exams and craftsman exams have been completed to PGDB satisfaction?
    How are you affording all the fees?


    Here are some of the fun aspects we have experienced to date.

    PGDB do not answer emails or give helpful information.
    PGDB regard a dyslexic as 'handicapped'.
    NZ plumbing trade lead the world and are superior craftsmen, accepted worldwide..
    Kiwi plumbers 'Do it all'.. UK plumbers dont know zip...
    Why use a fitting , when you can braze a joint which breaks the Oz standards 3500.
    No overflows..
    A commitment to hide all pipes , no matter how inaccessible.
    White spiders under houses.
    Drains .

    This is a genuine post.. with genuine interest.
    Our own lives are bound up completely with this NZ trade , its red tape , attitudes and pay scale.
    Having been in Nelson now since last June, we have some thinking to do!
    Would be pleased to hear from others .

    thanks

    Bevs

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    auckland
    Posts
    66

    Default

    Hmmm....a few deep breaths might be recommended...

    Attitudes are definitely different here...sometimes that can be refreshing but sometimes it can be just downright frustrating!! There are always pro's and con's...I guess its just a case of weighing up one against the other!

    Good luck with whatever you decide!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    in dunners and lovin it
    Posts
    429

    Default

    Its interesting that I will be starting off on $17 per hour as a fibrous plasterer and plumbers are on the earlys 20's its nice to be earning what you boys are on for a change, by the looks of it it seems to be a blanket price for all trades and crafts.

    would be intresting to see what those chippies are on.


    Dan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    christchurch (formerly essex)
    Posts
    2,749

    Default

    I still can't get my head around the fact that the going rate for tradesmen is around the $40 to $50 an hour and what you guys are actually getting. And thats from phoning around for quotes etc. I think you guys need to go self employed as soon as possible. An English brickie we met in Chch was earning between $2,000 and $3,000 a week contracting. And if you want a plumber or sparkie you have to book at least a week in advance. Can't offer anything on the plumbing trades thing except that son in law designs plumbing stuff and is now working for a well known NZ supplier and he reckons that the methods and materials they use in NZ actually are better than the ones in the UK. (with the exception of the absence of the overflow)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Hi Bev,

    As you may or may not have read I am A Plumber, not a gasfitter though.

    I work for a well established plumbing maintenance company in Christchurch. As for the PGDB I had no real problems with them, I found one particular women there who I would always ask to speak to, and she was really helpful, although I have not sat the exam and nor will i now. I have been working on a limited license since we have been here. They do have some brilliant systems here, for example the secura pipe work and square drive screwsl are a brilliant idea ( taking a pot back to england)

    As I said I will not be sitting the exam, but a couple of guys at work who have been here about a year, recently failed it! they are both good tradesman, and said it had some very strange questions!! They are now planning to go to college in the evenings for next Novembers exam.

    As for getting under houses it is the most awful thing I have ever had to do in my job, for those unaware, somewhere in your house, under the fridge or in a wardrobe there will be an access hole probably about 14" - 20" square. And then as you said once under the house there are spiders galore, there is usually about 15"- 20" of crawling/dragging room on a good one they get tighter!! Then you practically lay under the pipes whilst you cut in to them.

    Thats why the wages are bad so you can't afford lifes luxuries to get fat on!

    I think I know what you mean about the attitudes, pm me and we can discuss further if you like. Sorry to start moaning again folks!!

    I personally, like your husband have found good and bad things about plumbing in NZ.

    Veronica the company charges $55ish an hour because that is the going rate, what we are paid is what is left after the boss has paid the bills and taken out his wages!

    Iain

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    christchurch (formerly essex)
    Posts
    2,749

    Default

    I know where the money is going Ian, just think that the proportion that the boss takes is over the top.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    131

    Default

    sorry veronica,

    I have just read that last post back, I didn't mean to sound condescending!

    Iain

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    christchurch (formerly essex)
    Posts
    2,749

    Default

    Didn't think you were. you just sounded a bit weary.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wigan UK
    Posts
    1,619

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chrissie
    Hmmm....a few deep breaths might be recommended...

    Attitudes are definitely different here...sometimes that can be refreshing but sometimes it can be just downright frustrating!! There are always pro's and con's...I guess its just a case of weighing up one against the other!

    Good luck with whatever you decide!
    Hey you can say that again!!

    (sorry my humour as it was posted 3 times)

    Jo

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    auckland
    Posts
    66

    Default

    Yes...I don't know what happened there!! I think my computer's got a mind of its own!!! ops:

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