Rob Gaimster

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 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 – 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: What is industry body telling govt?

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We’ve seen a right palaver as Whaleoil has gradually unpicked and exposed the cover-up in New Zealand’s $400 million concrete industry.

We’ve also exposed how Fonterra’s $120 million Waitoa UHT plant and the Government’s $40.6 million Manukau Court Building was supplied dodgy cement that is likely to see those buildings subject to a problem called alkali silica reaction or more commonly known as concrete cancer.   Read more »

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.   Read more »

Concrete Cancer Cover-Up Expose Continues

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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 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.

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