Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Imported insulation 'doesn't compare'

Photo / APN
Photo / APN

The manufacturer of well-known local insulation product Pink Batts has come out fighting against a German rival.

Philip King, investor relations manager for Fletcher Building, said his firm's products could not be compared with Knauf Insulation's cheaper goods.

Earlier this week Stuart Dunbar, Knauf Insulation's New Zealand and Australian manager, said his firm's products were half the price of Fletcher's and this was part of the reason houses here were some of the world's most expensive.

But King defended Batts.

"In terms of price, it can be difficult to do true apples-for-apples comparisons as insulation comes in different sizes and weights, and Knauf impose minimum order quantities on any purchaser. These are larger than just one house lot.

"Pink Batts also offers a full sales and support service including PinkFit, and is widely available through all building products distributors throughout the country.

"We offer next-day delivery nationwide," he said.

Fletcher was also in for the long haul and stood by its product.

"It wouldn't be appropriate for us to talk about Knauf's product. Pink Batts are New Zealand's trusted brand making insulation specifically engineered for local conditions and we've been in the market for 50 years," King said.

Knauf sells its EarthWool here, and Dunbar said many customers ordered on the web and the goods were transported by Mainfreight.

Both Fletcher and Macquarie Equities Research analyst Stephen Hudson have identified many new overseas products competing directly with the Penrose-based business.

Fletcher's insulation, clinker for cement, laminates and wallboard are all being challenged by cheaper import-based goods, CEO Jonathan Ling blaming the high New Zealand and Australian dollars for the rival imports.

He wonders what will happen to the businesses selling cheaper goods here when the currency changes.

- NZ Herald

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