Concrete Cancer Coverup – More sunlight needed

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The Whaleoil investigation into a cover-up in the $400 million concrete industry now has documents that show the new $40.6 million Manuaku District Court and Fonterra’s $120 million Waitoa UHT factory have been made with dodgy cement.

As more documents are provided to Whaleoil, the more the cover-up becomes not only  a case of incompetence on the part of the officials responsible for overseeing construction of buildings, but also a desperate attempt at trying to confuse anyone that looks into this issue.  

At the centre of the cover-up is cement importing company Drymix, who for a number of months – January to March 2014, hid their own test results of the thousands of tonnes of cement they imported from Vietnam.

Drymix’s own test results showed alkali content of this imported cement was above the industry accepted standard, yet it still pumped it out into the market.

More alarmingly, the concrete industry body, the Cement and Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ)lept to the defence of Drymix, saying in a 24 November 2014 Industry Update ‘No Breach of Cement of Concrete Standards’.

It’s CEO Rob Gaimster, said;

a series of investigations into specific allegations of high alkali cement have determined that no cement and no concrete in breach of standards has been sold into the market.

His comments were based on an so-called ‘independent report’ by a consultant paid by the very company that hid the original test results – Drymix.

Following Whaleoil questions to CCANZ, it can now be exposed that the 128 page Report by the New Zealand Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NZRMCA) completely contradicts Rob Gaimster’s assurances and instead confirms that concrete with an alkali content above 2.5kg/m3 has been sold to two unidentified construction projects.

Further, the NZRMCA Report talks of “confusion” and slams Drymix for failing to “properly evaluate the reasons for the differences between its cement certificates and the Vicem Bimson (Vietnamese cement supplier) certificates.”

Drymix’s position is there was no need for alarm because they relied on Vietnam’s Vicem Bimson figures showing that alkali levels were below or at 0.6%.

A well placed source who has read a copy of the NZRMCA’s Plant Audit Committee Report CCANZ (sent to Whaleoil on 24 December 2014), is alarmed at what’s hidden in Appendix C of the Report.

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The wording in this next paragraph should be alarming.

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What you have is a NZRMCA Report confirming that high alkali cement was used in these construction projects.

While the NZRMCA has not named those projects, Whaleoil has identified those projects as;

  1. Fonterra’s Waitoa UHT factory
  2. The Ministry of Justice’s Manukau District Court building

Whaleoil has put further questions to CCANZ, but in the meantime Fonterra and the Government should be demanding answers from the people that oversaw these construction projects.

 


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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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

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