Auckland company fined $540,000 for claiming steel reinforcing mesh met earthquake standards when it didn't

Auckland company fined $540,000 for claiming steel reinforcing mesh met earthquake standards when it didn't
Photo: Max Pixel

An Auckland company has been fined $540,000 for making false and misleading claims about the quality of its steel reinforcing mesh.

The Commerce Commission charged Brilliance International Limited with 20 breaches of the Fair Trading Act after it claimed its steel mesh was earthquake grade.

Brilliance claimed on its website and on product tags that its 147E mesh complied with the Australian and New Zealand standard for reinforcing steel suitable for structural use in an earthquake zone, when it did not.

The company also claimed its mesh had been tested buy independent laboratory SGS New Zealand, when it had not.

The charges relate to approximately 56,125 sheets of steel mesh.

Commerce Commission Chairman Mark Berry said the safety and durability of New Zealand's buildings depended on them being constructed with materials that complied with the relevant standards.

"False and misleading representations about building products are a priority for the Commission because compliance with standards is critical to both public confidence and safety," he said.

Brilliance had pleaded guilty to the charges and in his judgment Auckland District Court Judge Robert Ronayne said the company's conduct undermined the NZ Building Code and the objectives of Standards in general.

According to Companies Office records Brilliance International Ltd is 100% owned by GW Group Limited and Guanghui Wu of Auckland is listed as the sole director of both companies.

The addresses of both Brilliance International and Wu are listed as 18-20 Allens Road, East Tamaki, Auckland. 

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So the fine is equal to $9.62 for each sheet of steel mesh they sold. That'll teach 'em a lesson!

Even worse imagine what the repairs would cost for the victims of this fraud.

What a surprise, the dodgy steel came from China. They shouldn't be allowed to import this rubbish until it has been certified to standard. I would also suggest ongoing batch checks, as it is usual to supply superior product for testing and then revert to the cheap rubbish grade once tests are completed. What are the ramifications for buildings constructed with this Tofu Steel?

All lies. Chinese steel meets standards, chinese sovereignty extends over Taiwan, chinese growth-rate is 6.8% each year, and high chines immigration is good for NZ. Why do you hate china, racist?

And we trust their building products and ethics...why?

Where?... pray were these items imported from....

Was it under Nationals watch.......tick tock.

Will they be allowing it to build Bridges in future........or is it all fine....and Dandy to ...ignore..the Name droppings as per last few Prime Munnysters....

It's a bit of a push to suggest actions of private companies/individuals lay squarely at the feet of the Government at the time.

Where was the faulty mesh used? Are citizens at risk if it was used in public infrastructure...eg bridges? If used for private dwellings, what are the insurance ramifications? Is this a get-out-of jail card for insurers in the event of damage in an earthquake? Would Brilliant be liable in any resultant claims dispute...of course, using lawyers to pursue that would be beyond the hapless house owner to afford....

Hahah well thankfully it’s not been used in any of the 10 bridges built in Northland over the past 10 years!

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Glad these bozos have been brought to justice.

Sure they will really think hard about doing it again after losing a small percentage of their profits they earned due to the fraud.