Programme overview

Are you working in the drainlaying industry, and want to gain industry registration? The National Certificate in Drainlaying gives you a thorough grounding in stormwater intake and outfall structures, sub-soil drainage, retention tanks, surface water collection systems, septic tanks, drains, access chambers, drainage systems maintenance, and trade equipment and power tools.

As all applicants must be employed in the industry it's essential that you complete an Acknowledgement of Training and Education Responsibility form and have it signed by your employer.


  • Unitec is the only tertiary provider in Auckland offering both theory and practical courses in drainlaying to enable you to become a registered drainlayer.
  • Follows the syllabus required by the NZ Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board.
  • A mix of theory classes and practical assessment.
  • Highly qualified staff, many of whom have owned and operated their own businesses.
  • Strong ties with the plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying industries.

Prepare for success

Well-prepared students have the best chance of success in their studies, so we've put together a free online guide so you can refresh and sharpen some of the skills you'll use on this programme.


Once you've successfully completed this programme pathway you'll receive a National Certificate in Drainlaying.

    Admission requirements

    For this programme, you will need the following:

    1. A minimum of 12 credits at NCEA Level 1 in two different subjects, one subject must be English
    2. Be at least 16 years old by the time the programme begins
    3. A minimum of four years secondary education
    4. You must be employed in the industry and hold a current limited license for Drainlaying issued by the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board 
    5. If English is your second language, you will need one or more of the following:

    • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University entrance
    • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
    • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

    Don’t meet the requirements? We also accept:

    • A relevant qualification at Level 2 on the NZQF or above or an equivalent qualification; or
    • Provide sufficient evidence to be eligible for special or discretionary admission.
    • If you are not employed in the industry, you may apply to enrol in the theoretical courses as a Certificate of Proficiency.

    For more information download the programme regulations:

    Programme Regulations

    Courses and timetables

    All courses and timetables for 2018 will be available shortly.