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Use of Cheap Cement Could Have Nasty Aftermath

Use of Cheap Cement Could Have Nasty Aftermath

Cheap cement imported from overseas has potential to cause significant
building issues and costly legal battles in New Zealand, says New Zealand First.

"We have been informed that some concrete will crumble and weaken over time if a too highly alkaline cement is used," says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. "While New Zealand cement producers have regulated the alkaline content, overseas producers do not.

"New Zealand First calls on Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith to reassure New Zealanders that all imported cement will be required to meet strict standards.

"The Minister must consider if it is time to rethink the industry's self-imposed specifications, particularly if more and more cement is being imported.

"Where the strength of our buildings is concerned there is no place in New Zealand for cutting red tape, which the Minister spoke about recently in talking about shoddy builders.

"The potential detrimental reaction from some imported cement was discovered in the 1940s during dam construction.

"Some cements when combined with local volcanic aggregates caused an alkali silica reaction which meant the concrete would have a much shorter lifespan.

"In announcing moves to clamp down on shoddy builders, the Minister said there could be a temptation to cut corners with so much construction under way in the Christchurch Rebuild.

"We urge the Minister to ask questions around imported cement and put the appropriate guidelines in place," says Mr Peters. "The country can ill afford another leaky homes crisis."


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