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Asbestos left undisturbed, sealed and in good condition is relatively safe and you don't need to remove – but if you intend to work with it or disturb it, it can quickly become harmful and needs specialist attention.

If asbestos on your property appears to look crumbly, in poor condition or exposed to the elements, then it is likely to be friable asbestos and posses a high health risk if disturbed. Friable asbestos should only be removed by a Class A licensed asbestos removalist.  

If asbestos is present


NEVER cut it, drill it, sand it, scrape it,

scrub it, waterblast it, or demolish it,

without first getting proper advice and take appropriate precautions. And importantly, NEVER dump it.

Working with asbestos

If you need to remove asbestos or it is likely to be disturbed as a result of other renovation work, we recommend engaging a licensed professional.

Should you need to work with any material that may contains asbestos yourself, always get some advice first, take appropriate precautions and work so there is minimal dust.


Never use tools on asbestos materials as they will make asbestos fibres airborne including:

  • Power tools such as electric drills, angle grinders, circular saws and electric sanders

  • Never use high pressure water blasters or compressed air

Disposing of asbestos

Asbestos is a hazardous waste and must be disposed of correctly. It must only be disposed of at an approved local authority refuse site. Incorrect disposal of asbestos waste is prohibited and can result in a fine or prosecution. For more information on correct asbestos disposal talk to your local council about approved hazardous waste sites in your area. 


Asbestos is still widely used in building products in some countries. Despite imports being prohibited in New Zealand, it is possible for some products to contain asbestos. We recommend check where the products have come from and what they are made from. Ask for a NZ Certification on any products you are using. 

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