Concrete Cancer Cover-up, Ctd – Did Nick Smith mislead parliament?

The concrete cancer cover-up fiasco affecting New Zealand?s $400 million concrete sector has taken another turn with the Minister for Building and Housing Nick Smith now looking like having misled Parliament.

Under questioning from Winston Peters, the Minister for Building? and Housing Nick Smith initially covered off his statements by saying that ?I have been assured by officials?.

But Ministers have to satisfy themselves that the answers they?re getting from officials are right ? otherwise they get caught out.

So when Nick Smith gets cocky and thinks he knows best, he gets held to account.

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Sources inside the industry have told Whaleoil of? a ?WTF? moment when they heard Nick Smith say this, and are now asking who is advising the Minister on this issue.

If he was getting good advice, he would not have told Parliament that ?high alkali cement is allowed under New Zealand cement standard? ? a statement that is likely to come back to haunt Nick Smith for the simple reason it is just wrong. ?

Maybe his officials didn?t tell the Minister about Standards New Zealand changing the standards on 2 December 2014 requiring all cement in New Zealand to have an alkali level below 0.6%.

Anything over 0.6% and its considered to be high alkali cement. Even Standards New Zealand says that this provision was added to ?assist in reducing the risk of damage from Alkali Silica Reaction ? more commonly known as concrete cancer.

Standards New Zealand is obviously concerned enough about the issue to amend the specifications ? a move that was approved last year by the Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser.

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Maybe that memo wasn?t shared with Nick Smith?s office?? But thanks to Nick Smith we know where he is getting his advice from:

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So we have his officials relying on a so-called independent report that was written and paid for by Drymix – the very company that imported the dodgy high alkali cement in the first place.

Instead of front-footing this issue, and finding out whether the $40.6 million taxpayer funded Manukau District Court rebuild is affected (which it is), Nick Smith is now looking like having to apologise in the House for misleading Parliament.

It is no wonder Winston Peters smells blood in the water.

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