Builder forged signatures for design certificates

An unlicensed builder forged signatures to illegally sign off on an Otago house design, a court has heard.

Jimmy Carson, sole director of Carson Design and Co Ltd, appeared in the Tauranga District Court after he was found guilty on two charges of forgery and two charges of providing false and misleading information.

Judge Greg Hollister-Jones sentenced the defendant to six months’ community detention and fined him $2000.

The court heard Carson forged signatures of licensed building practitioners on the certificates of design work for three buildings between September 2021 and July 2022, including one in East Taieri.

He used their licence numbers, addresses and phone numbers to file the certificates for three properties, in Mt Maunganui, East Taieri and Tauranga.

Licensed practitioners registrar Duncan Connor in a statement said the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment would not hesitate to prosecute people who breached the Building Act.

"Mr Carson was fully aware of the consequences of his actions and the impact it could have had on lives of his clients and on those whose signatures he knowingly forged", he said.

"There was a high degree of premeditation in the offending by Mr Carson and he caused a significant breach of trust."

The offending was discovered in September 2022 when the Tauranga City Council called the licensed practitioner whose name and signature Carson had forged for a certificate.