Cement and Concrete Association of New Zealand

Justice Minister Amy Adams opens $51 million Concrete Cancer building

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Sometimes, despite all the warnings given, the Government ploughs ahead seemingly with blinkers on.
Whaleoil has ran an extensive investigation into the Concrete Cancer Cover-Up story potentially affecting dozens, if not hundreds of construction projects.
As a quick recap, cement importing company Drymix imported an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 tonnes of high alkali cement from Vietnam and flogged it off onto the New Zealand market.
So-called ‘independent’ investigations into concerns raised on this blog by The Cement and Concrete Association of NZ (CCANZ),  resulted in a highly technical report telling people to move on, nothing to see here. More on that later.

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8 days to opening of Concrete Cancer building

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With Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith refusing to instruct officials to take a core-sample of the $46 million Manukau District Court building, who ever is the minister that opens it will have their name forever attached to a concrete cancer building.   Read more »

Concrete Cancer Cover-up: 12 days until Govt opens dodgy building

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This blog has exposed the dodgy hear-no-evil-see-no-evil practices within the $400 million concrete industry with multiple posts about the concrete cancer issue affecting numerous buildings

The industry association, the Cement and Concrete Association (CCANZ), has said “it’s been a hell-of-a-time for the concrete industry in the press” as it “rubbishes allegations that elevated alkali levels in cement and concrete are putting the structural integrity of some [read Manukau District Court Building] buildings in jeopardy”.   Read more »

Concrete Cancer Cover-up: Oh look, more Concrete Cancer problems

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This morning on TVNZ’s Q&A Housing Minister Nick Smith reinforces the growing perception that National MPs believe that everything is fine and dandy.

He’s relaxed and takes credit for addressing Auckland’s housing by moving the rate of house building from 4,000 per year to 8,000 houses per year in the three years he’s been minister.

During the interview he even claims that he’s one of the Government’s three most senior ministers, a big jump from his current 12th ranking.

On this basis, and in light of the ongoing Concrete Cancer Cover-Up series, you would think he’d want to take credit for solving the festering sore that is the the use of dodgy high alkali cement used in the $40.6 million Manukau District Court building upgrade.

Documents show Nick Smith’s officials have been advised that dodgy cement was used in the early stages of construction of this taxpayer-funded building. Yet Nick Smith wants a ‘report’ showing this.

Back in February I blogged about the concrete cancer epidemic in Australia to show this type of issue is not going to go away. Now we see the issue getting worse.   Read more »

Concrete Cancer Coverup Ctd: How a real company deals with the problem

unnamedWell, well, well, just look at those headlines. Just an issue that WhaleOil has been talking about for months, yet MSM are only now waking up to the potential scale of the problem.

You see WhaleOil exposed the use of dodgy cement back in October 2014, when cement importing company DRYMIX imported dodgy high alkali cement from Vietnam.

This dodgy cement ended up in places such as the $40 million Manukau District Court rebuild and Fonterra’s $120 million UTH factory in Waitoa.   Read more »

Concrete Cancer Cover-up, Ctd – Core samples? Easy peasy

Core Samples from the Warehouse Pakuranga, Auckland

Core Samples from the Warehouse Pakuranga, Auckland

After reading the exclusive Concrete-Cancer Cover-up series, one of our eagle-eyed Whaleoil army member spotted something they thought we would like to see – photos of where concrete core samples have been taken.

And this wasn’t overseas, this was right here in New Zealand – at the Warehouse Pakuranga in Auckland.

Last week Winston Peters hammered Minister for Building and Housing Nic Smith over officials telling the Minister’s office that the $40.6m Manukau District Court rebuild has used dodgy cement and asked why core samples haven’t been taken.

It’s a good question that the Cement and Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ) gets very uppity about.

Just image if core samples of the taxpayer funded Manukau District Court building were taken and sent to an independent laboratory for testing and came back showing they have a problem.    Read more »

Concrete Cancer Cover-up, Ctd – What’s all the fuss about?

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When you start investigating a story the interesting thing is how people respond to questions.

Some are helpful, provide information and are keen to see an issue resolved. Others are less than helpful and are keen on seeing the story shut down.

Sadly, Rob Gaimster, CEO of the Cement and Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ) falls into the later category.  More on Gaimster later.

A recap is needed on why this Concrete Cancer Story needs to be told.

The basics are this;

  1. In January, February and March 2014, a cement importing company Drymix imported tens of thousands of tonnes of cement from Vietnam into New Zealand which, according to their own test results, failed to meet recognised industry standards.
  2. Drymix failed to make its test results available for public scrutiny which raised questions within New Zealand’s $400 million-a-year cement market.
  3. This cement had higher than accepted alkali content.
  4. Concrete cancer is caused by high alkali levels in cement combined with moisture in the concrete and a reactive form of silica in the aggregate. When this happens it can end up causing expansion and cracking in concrete resulting in major structural problems.   Read more »

Concrete Cancer Coverup, Ctd – What does the government know?

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You would think that with millions of tax-payers money being poured into the construction of the Manukau District Court, the Government would want to have confidence in the integrity of the building.

Following this explosive Concrete Cancer Cover-Up series on Whaleoil, government officials have had to rely on information from Rob Gaimster, the CEO of the Cement and Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ).

If you listened to CCANZ, who on Monday quietly posted an update on their website, they are desperate to say that everything is all right, nothing to see here, move along.

That line didn’t work for Helen Clark.

WOBH is hearing that questions about high alkali cement problems are being raised in Wellington; not only about the potential exposure from the Manukau Court building constructed with dodgy cement from Vietnam, but whether buildings in Wellington are potentially affected.

But CAANZ seems desperate to keep digging the hole they have got themselves in, thanks in part to their support of member company Drymix.   Read more »

Concrete Cancer Coverup, ctd

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This time last week Whaleoil 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 – 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 CCANZ’s 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 they’re too deep in the hole and that the better option is to keep digging. Let’s see how that works out for them.   Read more »

Concrete Cancer Coverup, Ctd

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 country’s leading pre-cast concrete suppliers with “strict quality control systems… to meet any challenge, no matter how architecturally demanding.”

However, rhetoric is one thing – reality can be quite another.

The focus is now on Concretec’s 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 ‘Super Easy Mix In The Bag’ 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 Yashili’s $250 million plant at Pokeno.

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