This time last week WhaleoilÂ continued with its series exposing a concrete cancer cover-up within the $400m New Zealand concrete market.
The tip-line has been abuzz with concerns from Wellington insiders close to the Cement and Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ).
They are deeply concerned that CCANZ has hitched their wagon to the company at the centre of the cover-up â cement importer Drymix, and that the exposure of the concrete cancer issue is not going to end well for the industry body.
These insiders are worried that CCANZâs position is compromising the integrity of the wider concrete industry and are not happy with how they are managing the growing concerns and unease within the construction and building sectors.
Last week CCANZ held a crisis meeting in Wellington where they obviously decided that theyâre too deep in the hole and that the better option is to keep digging. Letâs see how that works out for them. Â Read more »
Over the last few weeks we have been exposing a concrete cancer cover-up within the $400m New Zealand concrete market.
In October, WOBH exposed the risk that dozens of new structures could be under threat of âconcrete cancerâ as a result of cement importer company Drymix allowing tens of thousands of tonnes of cement that failed to meet recognised industry standards, onto the NZ market.
We know Drymix hired private investigators to try and find out who was behind an anonymous filer exposing concerns about concrete cancer affecting buildings.
Then with unease growing within the construction sector about what buildings could be affected, the Cement and Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ) dived into the quicksand and started defending Drymix â despite acknowledging that Drymix had âimported cement which was found to have raised levels of alkali contentâ.
Instead of advising potentially affected parties that the cement used in recent builds such as the Governmentâs $40m Manukau District Court upgrade could be compromised, CCANZ has surprised industry insiders by backing Drymix. Â Read more »
PRIVATE EMAILS have confirmed what the company at the centre of a concrete cancer cover-up have spent months trying to hide â and the news is all bad.
For months now Auckland-based Drymix, best known for its Mitre 10 range of products, has been on a public relations offensive to hush up concerns over suspect cement being used in millions of dollars worth of construction projects.
But as a series of emails obtained this week reveal, privately Drymix were having to acknowledge to their customers that an issue did exist with cement imported from Vietnam in January, February and March this year.
In one email Drymix boss Hunter Crossan confirms that alkali levels in imported cement had not been within range of accepted New Zealand standards. He then goes on to assure the issue is being âworked on by our suppliersâ and will be fully resolved in the coming months.
But thatâs it.
Drymix stop well short of alerting the construction industry to the fact there could be significant safety concerns with precast structures manufactured using suspect cement from its supplier in Vietnam.
In fact, WOBH has learned about a response from the Ministry of Justice to an Official Information Act request seeking answers about the quality of the precast concrete structures at the new $40 million Manukau Courthouse upgrade, and if this is any guide, Drymix did exactly the opposite.
The question was asked whether the Ministry knew if imported cement had been used in the construction upgrade and they have been told it hadnât. From this we can deduce that Drymix hasnât been in touch with them. Â Read more »
by Stephen Cook
THE COMPANY accused of using suspect cement imported cheaply from overseas in its precast concrete products has gone into damage control mode as the spotlight shifts to its role in the whole controversy
With nine years in the business, Concretech New Zealand Ltd claim to be one of this countryâs leading pre-cast concrete suppliers with âstrict quality control systemsâŠ to meet any challenge, no matter how architecturally demanding.â
However, rhetoric is one thing â reality can be quite another.
The focus is now on Concretecâs role in the whole scandal after claims from industry insiders the company may have unwittingly used suspect cement from Vietnam in pre-cast concrete products it later supplied to several major construction companies.
That cement, which had higher than usual alkali levels, was imported by Drymix who control about five percent of the $400 million-a-year cement market and through Mitre 10 supply the domestic market with the highly-popular âSuper Easy Mix In The Bagâ range of cement products.
In January, February and March this year Drymix imported tens of thousands of tonnes of cement, which according to their own test samples, failed to meet recognised industry standards.
Drymix supply cement to a company called Techcrete, who make readymix concrete which they supply to Concretec who supply precast concrete products to companies like Watts & Hughes and Ebert Construction,.
Both these companies are also facing questions after concerns that suspect cement may have been used in the $40 million Manukau District Court upgrade and Yashiliâs $250 million plant at Pokeno.
By Stephen Cook
THE WALLS are closing in on two giants of the New Zealand construction industry as more details emerge about how they turned a blind eye to concerns over potential structural issues with building projects running into the tens of millions of dollars.
The focus of the so-called concrete cancer controversy has now shifted to why two of this countryâs construction industry heavyweights chose to do nothing when confronted with the news that suspect cement may have been used in at least two of their recent projects.
Up until now Watts & Hughes Construction and Ebert Construction have kept a safeÂ Â distance from the whole Drymix controversy, but last week both were forced to front foot the issue after claims suspect imported cement may have been used in two of their recent large-scale projects.
At first Watts & Hughes company director Rob Murphy said heâd never even heard of Drymix but then shortly afterwards acknowledged he was aware of issues surrounding high alkali levels in cement the company had imported earlier this year from Vietnam.
Murphy confirmed that Concretec had supplied his company with all the precast panels for the new $40 million Manukau Courthouse upgrade, but claimed thereâd been no use of imported cement.
Concretecâs cement comes from Drymix.
âI am there weekly. I am with the consultants, the owners, the ministry, the whole shooting box and itâs news to me,â he said.
âThereâs no issue. We are happy with the information we have received from our consultants,â he said before abruptly hanging up.
Ron McDonald of Ebert Construction, who built Yashiliâs $250 million plant at Pokeno, also tried playing down the controversy.
He confirmed his company had subcontracted Concretec for the Fonterra job, but said where that company sourced its cement from was its business and not something he personally concerned himself with. Â Â Read more »
Original Post:Â 25 April 2006
This is my ANZAC Day tribÂute postÂing. ANZAC Day means a great deal for me and my famÂily. I supÂpose it is because we have a conÂnecÂtion to the origÂiÂnal ANZACS in 1915 and GalÂlipoli and to a vetÂeran of a war much fresher in our minds, Viet Nam.
Firstly I pay tribÂute to my Great Grand-father Harry Crozier. I never really knew him, he died many years ago. Harry served in the Â GalÂlipoli camÂpaignÂ and thankÂfully came home alive albeit with only one working leg. I know he spent conÂsidÂerÂable time in Rotorua conÂvaÂlescÂing and learned to carve maori carvÂings as part of his rehaÂbilÂiÂtaÂtion.
The secÂond perÂson I pay tribÂute to is a guy who truly epitÂoÂmises the ANZAC spirit. He is an Aussie, livÂing in New Zealand who fought for New Zealand in Viet Nam. He is marÂried to a Kiwi and has three Kiwi kids, and three Kiwi grand kids. He is also my Father-in-law.
41873 Gnr Atkins KG 161 Bty was in Viet Nam in 1966. Based inÂ Nui DatÂ and one of the first to arrive and estabÂlish the Base and gun posiÂtions. âOzâ parÂticÂiÂpated in the famous Â BatÂtle of Long TanÂ where the Kiwi guns were instruÂmenÂtal in savÂing 3 plaÂtoons of D ComÂpany of the Â 6thÂ BatÂtalÂion, Royal AusÂtralian RegÂiÂment(6RAR) and enabling the thrashÂing of a RegÂiÂment of Viet Cong.
Each gun fired over 1200 rounds that day and night in supÂport of the Aussies. The batÂtle was fought in a rubÂber tree planÂtaÂtion near the vilÂlage of Long Tan, about 40Â km north-east of Vung Tau, South VietÂnam on August 18â19, 1966. The batÂtle was fought all afterÂnoon and most of the night in pourÂing monÂsoon rain. The guns ran so hot that wet blanÂkets were draped over them in an attempt to keep the barÂrels cool.
Kevin tells many stoÂries of his time in Viet Nam but they are not at all âwarryâ to use his term. They speak a simÂple truth that war is tough and bruÂtal. He often says he hopes his chilÂdren never have to go to war and thankÂfully they probÂaÂbly wonât have to.
It seems so long ago, yet for some only yesÂterÂday. The GovÂernÂment to this day still treats vetÂerÂans with disÂdain with their hanÂdling, and obfusÂcaÂtion of the Agent Orange scanÂdal. I say a scanÂdal because that is what it is. You need only ask any vetÂeran about Agent Orange and they will tell you they werenât just sprayed with they were doused in it, they drank water soaked with it and were often wet to their socks with Agent Orange.Â Check out this photo of Nui Dat in 1966Â . Every counÂtry in Viet Nam at the time has acknowlÂedged it hapÂpened and comÂpenÂsated their vetÂerÂans and New Zealand conÂtinÂues to deny it occurred and conÂtinÂues to hold spuÂriÂous enquiries. [The Government has since said “Sorry”, if it was at all possible to say sorry without actually saying the word, but for me it was too little, too late] Â Â Read more »
My father in law, Skippy fought in the Battle of Long Tan.
This is the documentary made by Martin Walsh of that battle.
I made this video in 2007 fro Skippy who fought in Vietnam with 161 Bty and fought inÂ theÂ Battle of Long Tan.
The Russians have nicked the Ukraine’s secret combat dolphins.
The Ukrainian military is promising to one day reclaim itsÂ formerÂ bases in Crimea, but one unit has been lost forever: Ukraine’s combat dolphins, who are now swimming for Russia.
The dolphins, stationed in a Ukrainian navy oceanarium in Sevastopol, will now attack enemy scuba divers, attach buoys to sea-floor mines, and patrol open waters at the behest of Moscow,Â accordingÂ to Russian news service RIA Novosti. The program had been set to shut down, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has apparently given Sevastopol’s combat dolphins another crack at navy life. “Our experts have developed new devices, which convert the detection of objects by the dolphins’ underwater sonar to a signal on an operator’s monitor,” an oceanarium employee told the news service in an overt attempt to curry favor with his new bosses. “But the Ukrainian navy lacked the funds for such know-how, and some projects had to be shuttered.”Â Read more »