Had electrical work done on your house that you weren’t happy about? Was the work unsafe, or carried out in an incompetent manner? Feeling powerless in the face of an unhelpful electrician? Then you may need the Electrical Workers Registration Board complaints process.

The Electrical Workers Registration Board (EWRB) is the body responsible for overseeing more than 30,000 registered electrical workers in New Zealand and as such provides a framework within which complaints can be made against its members.

Your first step in addressing an electrical complaint should be to try and work things out directly with the electrical worker concerned. If you cannot reach a satisfactory outcome this way you then have the option of following the EWRB formal complaints process.

Laying Your Complaint

The EWRB process allows you to lay complaints against its members. These complaints, though, must be confined to the individuals concerned and cannot be made against a company as an entity in itself. The EWRB will also investigate complaints against unregistered electrical workers.

Complaints can be made about work that is negligent, unsafe, performed by unqualified workers, does not meet the relevant requirements, or was not documented correctly (e.g. no certificate of compliance was provided). Disputes over bills or damage sustained by your property during the course of the work are not covered by the process and should be pursued through bodies like the Ministry of Consumer Affairs or the Disputes Tribunal.

Make your complaint in writing and accompany it with any supporting documents you have – quotes, photos, invoices etc. You can find the appropriate complaint form on the EWRB website.

Possible Outcomes

Once you have submitted your complaint, a Complaints Assessment Committee will determine whether or not there is a case to answer. If there is, the EWRB will hold a formal disciplinary hearing. If, as a result of this hearing, the electrical worker is found guilty of a disciplinary offence the EWRB has the power to impose a range of penalties.

Points to remember:

  • Once a formal complaint has been lodged it cannot be withdrawn.
  • Disciplinary hearings are held in public and you might have to appear as a witness and be cross-examined.
  • It can take up to 40 weeks to complete the complaints process. Complex cases can take even longer.

Further information on the electrical complaints process, and the EWRB in general, can be found on their website.


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