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Dodgy plumbing products singled out

A former detective has been brought in to crack down on "cowboy" plumbers but a gaping hole remains around dodgy plumbing products.

The Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board is ramping up its clampdown on who does the work, adding a second investigator next week alongside the ex-policeman and introducing a new "report-a-cowboy" app.

But it has no remit to investigate products and there are claims too much is just too dodgy.

Temuka plumber Murray Bartlett said poor workmanship and bad products often went hand in hand.

"I had one the other week where they supplied a cheap shower mixer and I said to them, 'I'm sorry I can't install that' - but an unauthorised tradesman wouldn't do that.

"If I decide to import some stuff from India or China and I flick it off on Trade Me, nobody asks the question 'does it comply with the New Zealand standard?'"

Mr Bartlett said he believed a flood of poor product being imported unchecked was a factor behind stubbornly high rates of building inspection failures in Auckland.

A third of the city's 130,000 or so inspections failed in the last year, though the Auckland Council talks mainly about poor workmanship by a rump of less competent builders than about dodgy building products.

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