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Brilliance Steel allowed to sell steel mesh again under new testing regime

Wednesday 1st June 2016

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Brilliance Steel, one of three companies involved in a Commerce Commission investigation into testing of ductile steel products, has reached an interim agreement with the regulator to resume sales provided the products pass independent tests. 

The commission today lifted its restriction on Auckland-based Brilliance selling ductile steel mesh products after the company signed a court enforceable undertaking for current and future batches of the product to be tested at an IANZ accredited lab, the regulator said in a statement. 

The deal follows a similar undertaking given by Euro Corp in April and is in line with an expected clarification on the standard being developed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. 

Steel mesh is typically used as reinforcement in concrete floor slabs during the construction of houses, garages, and other buildings and can also be used in driveways and pathways. After the Canterbury earthquake in 2011, the ductility level was increased to a minimum elongation of 10 percent from about 2 percent formerly.

Brilliance Steel and Euro Corp were advised to stop selling the products in March, and NZX-listed Steel & Tube was caught up in the dispute after commission tests found its seismic mesh also didn't meet the required standards. 

The regulator is investigating historical non-compliance with the standard on whether the mesh's performance characteristics were misrepresented, which would breach the Fair Trading Act. 

The quality of building materials was in the spotlight again today with Radio New Zealand reporting imported steel from China found to be too weak for four bridges on the $450 million Huntly bypass. Contractors Fulton Hogan and HEB Construction told RNZ the steel tubes didn't meet the standards for structural steel, something that was only discovered after the third round of testing.

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