The Government must urgently toughen the checks to ensure imported steel meets the quality standard which exists to protect New Zealanders, Labour’s Regulatory Reform spokesperson David Parker says.
“It is crazy that the high standards New Zealand-made steel must meet is not enforced for imported steel.
“There have now been a raft of complaints about imported steel being labelled with a quality certification it doesn’t meet.
"The official New Zealand Standard for Steel Reinforcing Materials is AS/NZ 4671:2001.
“Failure to test imported product to ensure it meets that standard puts New Zealanders at risk.
“It also undermines our own steel manufacturers, as their higher spec product is squeezed by lower quality imported steel.
“The 2013 cross party report on manufacturing raised the specific issue of New Zealand manufacturers being undermined by inferior imported products. The Government has sat on its hands for years.
“When the Australasian Certification Authority for Reinforcing and Structural Steels calls New Zealand the ‘Wild West’ of steel testing, there is a serious problem.
“The Government must instruct the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to immediately test imports against the standard,” David Parker says.