Justice Minister Amy Adams opens $51 million Concrete Cancer building


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


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


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 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 – Did Nick Smith mislead parliament?

The concrete cancer cover-up fiasco affecting New Zealand?s $400 million concrete sector has taken another turn with the Minister for Building and Housing Nick Smith now looking like having misled Parliament.

Under questioning from Winston Peters, the Minister for Building? and Housing Nick Smith initially covered off his statements by saying that ?I have been assured by officials?.

But Ministers have to satisfy themselves that the answers they?re getting from officials are right ? otherwise they get caught out.

So when Nick Smith gets cocky and thinks he knows best, he gets held to account.


Sources inside the industry have told Whaleoil of? a ?WTF? moment when they heard Nick Smith say this, and are now asking who is advising the Minister on this issue.

If he was getting good advice, he would not have told Parliament that ?high alkali cement is allowed under New Zealand cement standard? ? a statement that is likely to come back to haunt Nick Smith for the simple reason it is just wrong. ? 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 Coverup – Winston has Nick Smith over a barrel

Like a shark, Winston Peters can smell blood from a mile away and his target this time is Minister of Building and Housing Nick Smith.

The Government has been warned about the concrete cancer issue for near on six months now, and yesterday we saw a flustered looking Nick Smith start the ol? political trick of shifting the blame to his officials.

Nick Smith gets up and tried to crack a funny about carpets and curtains, then tries to fob off the seriousness of the concrete cancer issue happening under his watch by saying there?s competitive issues at play within the building sector.

Really? Is that the best you can do Nick? Of course there are competitive issues inside the building industry, just like there are competitive issues across all sectors ? But it doesn?t stop the very simple fact that there is a very real problem here.

You?ve got to give Winston credit when credit is due. Read more »

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


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 Cover-Up Expose Continues


Last year we started a series of posts exposing a cover-up in the $400m New Zealand concrete industry.

Industry insiders spoken to by WOBH, warned that dozens of new buildings could be under threat from a form of ?concrete cancer? that could end up costing millions of dollars over time.

This includes buildings like the new $40 million Ministry of Justice Manukau District Court, Fonterra?s $120 million factory in Waitoa and Yashili?s $250 million plant at Pokeno.

It all came about after concrete importer Drymix imported tens of thousands of tonnes of cement, which according to their own test samples, failed to meet recognised industry standards.

When murmurings about this issue first started, the industry association – The Cement and Concrete Association (CCANZ) first course of action was to hire a private investigator to try and find out who was talking.

Since then, sources in Wellington have been expressing concern that CCANZ had hitched their wagon to Drymix, and are not happy at how they are handling the unease within the construction and building sectors.

In December 2014 WOBH asked 5 questions to CCANZ seeking their response to the issues raised on this site.? Read more »

Concrete Cancer Coverup, Ctd

PRIVATE EMAILS have confirmed what the company at the centre of a concrete cancer cover-up have spent months trying to hide ? 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 ?worked on by our suppliers? and will be fully resolved in the coming months.

But that?s 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 hadn?t. From this we can deduce that Drymix hasn?t been in touch with them. ? Read more »