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Drainlaying in New Zealand September 4, 2017

Drainlaying is any work that involves either installing altering or repairing a drain, and this includes joining a drain to an existing onsite wastewater system. It almost always involves work inside a property boundary, and any work on drains outside the property boundary is not legally drainlaying.

In New Zealand it is regarded as a technical trade, and is closely regulated to make sure that only qualified and experienced people are responsible for work. New Zealand has 4 different licence categories, what’s the highest category being a certifying drainlayer. These people are both fully qualified and registered, and they are responsible for making certain that their own work and the work of anyone that they supervise is done in a competent and safe manner.

The next category is the tradesman who is also qualified and registered, and although they generally work independently their work must always be approved and supervised by a certified drainlayer. The third category is the journeyman, who is registered and authorised to work but must be supervised and have their work approved. The last category is called a limited certificate trainee, with these people working to get qualified, and needing their work supervised and approved at all times.

Drainlaying is one of the skilled trades in New Zealand that is experiencing labour shortages, and this is due to the line number of apprentices coming through and the boom in construction. It generally involves a lot of hard manual work, and it is likely that this turns off a number of potential recruits.

However drainlaying can be a reasonably lucrative career once qualified and certified, and an employee can easily earn over $45,000 per annum. The sector in New Zealand is largely unappreciated, until there is a health emergency on someone’s property, and at that point the humble worker can take on the image of Superman.

Successful drainlayers Christchurch have to love the work, and for most if not all the simple fact that they provide an absolutely vital public health service can make this work deeply satisfying. While there is often a hard manual labour components to the work, there is a high degree of technical competence required in order to ensure the drains have the correct slope, are correctly bedded and are correctly fitted. Drains should last for the life of the property if properly installed.

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