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26/10/2018 — Other Minerals and Metals
Heavy fine for Steel & Tube

A fine of $1.885 million was imposed on major steel distributor Steel & Tube Holdings Ltd (NZX: STU) in the Auckland District Court after a decision on a prosecution by the Commerce Commission.

The prosecution related to SE62 500E grade steel mesh marketing.

The company said it related to historical issues on the application of testing methodologies under a standard and the inadvertent use of a testing laboratory’s logo on the bottom of Steel & Tube test certificates.

The company said it does not relate to the performance characteristics of the steel mesh.

Steel & Tube chief executive Mark Malpass said the fine will not impact financial results in the 2019 financial year.

“We wish to take this opportunity to apologise to our customers and shareholders for these historical breaches of the Fair Trading Act and want to stress that the breaches were unintentional.

“We have co-operated fully with the Commerce Commission from the outset of its enquiry and pleaded guilty to the charges at the earliest opportunity. The company took “significant remedial steps” after it became aware of concerns.

Malpass said those remedial steps were recognised by the judge.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) indicated homeowners should not be concerned about safety of the steel mesh.

He said the Structural Engineering Society of NZ has also said homeowners should not be unnecessarily concerned about the ductility of steel mesh in their houses.

“It is Steel & Tube’s view that any impact of Steel & Tube’s testing methods not strictly adhering to the standard would be negligible, and would not have over-stated elongation by anywhere near 5%, if at all.”

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