CONCRETE CANCER COVER-UP, CTD: Mitre 10 caught up in mess

If there is one certain feature of a cover-up it is that once cracks start appearing in the façade, so-called friends will quickly head for the hills.

As I roll out this exclusive WOBH series exposing a concrete cancer cover-up within the $400m concrete industry, I wonder who will stick around, and who will try and do a runner.

I have exposed cement importing company Drymix as being at the center of the controversy. With the Cement and Concrete Association (CCANZ) hooking its wagon up to Drymix, questions are being asked about who else will be caught up in the scandal as Whaleoil unravels this mess.

One such company is Mitre 10 which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary and passed the $1 billion sales mark for the first time.

Questions are being asked about the integrity of the 2014 Mitre 10 Awards, particularly when Drymix was recipient of its 2014 Mitre 10 Building Products Supplier and 2014 Innovation Award for our Super Easy Mix in The Bag Range.


Perhaps it is a simple case of Mitre 10 not knowing that the imported cement it had been selling from the Vicem Bim Som factory in Vietnam through Drymix – could be the same dodgy cement that is now holding up the walls of the Ministry of Justice’s new $40 million Manukau District Court building.

Mitre 10 has been selling Drymix cement that comes from the very same Vietnamese Vicem Bim Som factory that  supplied the cement to Drymix that failed to meet recognised industry standards.

Now to be fair to Mitre 10, we are mainly talking about cement imported by Drymix in January, February and March 2014, that had a higher than accepted alkali content.

But there are fears the problems go back further when, in September 2013, Drymix’s own test results showed alkali content was above the industry accepted standard of 0.60%.

Whaleoil asked Mitre 10 if it was aware that it may have been selling cement to Kiwi consumers from a manufactuer in Vietnam that supplied cement containing high alkali levels above industry standards.

Further, we asked Mitre 10 how confident it was that the cement it sold between October 2013 and March 2014 from this supplier did not have higher than accepted alkali content.

Despite Mitre 10 saying that “social media is clearly a big part of Mitre 10’s future”, it’s now been 48 hours and counting for them to get back to Whaleoil media enquiries over two relatively straight forward questions;

  1. Did Mitre 10 sell Drymix Portland Cement made in Vietnam by Vicem Bim Som for Drymix over the October 2013 to March 2014 period?
  2. If so, how confident is Mitre 10 that the cement it sold over the period October 2013 to March 2014, that came from this supplier, did not have higher than accepted alkali content?

Maybe they should take a look and see how circling the wagons around Drymix is working out for Rob Gaimster from the Cement and Concrete Association of NZ.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.