New Zealand Law Society - Steel mesh probe completed

Steel mesh probe completed

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The Commerce Commission has completed its seismic steel mesh investigations into five companies.

Three companies, who cannot be named at this time, have been advised that the Commission intends to issue criminal proceedings under the Fair Trading Act.

Two other companies have been issued with lower-level investigation outcomes. Fletchers has been issued with a warning, and United Steel has been issued with compliance advice. The Commission says investigations are continuing into several other companies. 

The Commission began investigating seismic steel mesh in August 2015 after a complaint was laid that some steel mesh products did not comply with the Australia/New Zealand standard.

The Standard mandates various physical characteristics required of steel mesh, and the testing methods that must be applied during their production.

After receiving early mesh testing results, the Commission became concerned that some steel mesh being sold in New Zealand did not meet the requirements of the standard on elongation.

The three companies who are to be prosecuted cannot be named at this time, to provide them an opportunity to seek name suppression.

Commission chairman Dr Mark Berry, says “Our focus has been on the claims that these companies made about the steel mesh they were selling.

“While the Commission is not responsible for the standard or the code we can take legal action where we see misleading or deceptive claims about compliance.”