Concrete Cancer Coverup – Winston has Nick Smith over a barrel

Like a shark, Winston Peters can smell blood from a mile away and his target this time is Minister of Building and Housing Nick Smith.

The Government has been warned about the concrete cancer issue for near on six months now, and yesterday we saw a flustered looking Nick Smith start the ol? political trick of shifting the blame to his officials.

Nick Smith gets up and tried to crack a funny about carpets and curtains, then tries to fob off the seriousness of the concrete cancer issue happening under his watch by saying there?s competitive issues at play within the building sector.

Really? Is that the best you can do Nick? Of course there are competitive issues inside the building industry, just like there are competitive issues across all sectors ? But it doesn?t stop the very simple fact that there is a very real problem here.

You?ve got to give Winston credit when credit is due.

Knowing he has more information than Nick Smith does, he goes in for the attack at 4:02m asking ??why did he not as a competent Minister not rely on a biased report? but rather order core samples to be taken from the sites mentioned for chemical analysis by an independent certified laboratory, rather than turn a blind eye to what is now looking like potentially rotting buildings.?

Winston continued the pressure later in the afternoon issuing a media release naming Fonterra?s $120m Waitoa UHT plant and the new $40.6 taxpayer funded Manukau District Court upgrade as having been constructed with dodgy cement.

? New Zealand First wants Minister for Building and Housing Nick Smith to get independent analysis to prove that “concrete cancer” is not a concern in recently constructed buildings around the country as Minister Smith claims.

“We have been reliably informed that tonnes of imported cement are not up to industry standards and result in weak concrete that will end in structural problems,” says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“New Zealand First warned the government about the dodgy cement last year but it is still being used.

“Now the Minister has the audacity to tell New Zealand First to provide technical reports. That is the job of the Minister who, up till now, has relied on concrete industry assurances that are both conflicted and not independent.

“Suspect cement is believed to have been used in the Manukau District Court and Fonterra?s upgrade of its UHT factory in Waitoa.

“Why haven?t independent core samples been take from these sites and others where there are concerns?”

Remember Whaleoil exposed that in January, February and March 2014 cement company Drymix? imported thousands of tonnes of cement, which according to their own test samples, failed to meet recognised industry standards.

Problems for Drymix began to surface back in September 2013 when their own test results showed the alkali content of its imported cement was above the industry accepted standard of 0.60%. They compounded the problem by failing to make their test results public from September 2013 through to March 2014.

If that wasn?t bad enough, Drymix pumped out this high alkali content cement to companies in the construction sector where the only concern seemed to be about price.

So while I?m glad Nick Smith has been ?noticing social media reports? reading Whaleoil about the Concrete Cancer Cover-up, he is the Minister that will end up copping it.

And Winston knows that all too well.