Fletcher Building subsidiary Easysteel has supplied information to the Commerce Commission on steel it bought and then sold, manufactured by an Australian business, a spokeswoman says.

"Easysteel was asked for information about rectangular hollowed section steel (RHS) manufactured by Steelforce and this was provided to the Commerce Commission," said the Fletcher Building spokeswoman in a written statement supplied this morning.

A complaint had been laid with the commission about the quality of the RHS steel, she said.

"Easysteel is not aware of any product quality issues for RHS product supplied by Steelforce and has not been asked by the Commerce Commission to take any further actions or to stop selling this product," she said.

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"Steelforce is a large, reputable Australian supplier that has supplied RHS steel to the New Zealand and Australian market for many years. Easysteel is confident the RHS steel provided by Steelforce meets New Zealand standards," she said.

Easysteel says that for more than 90 years, it has been supplying the New Zealand
market.

The spokeswoman said Easysteel was not the only purchaser of RHS from Steelforce but that a number of other businesses here purchased the materials.

"With all the attention on steel, Easysteel has been very careful to look at the standards and check certification," she said, referring to the commission's earlier steel investigations.

On December 5, the commission said it had completed its seismic steel mesh investigations into five of the companies.

"Three companies, which cannot be named at this time, have been advised that the commission intends to issue criminal proceedings under the Fair Trading Act. Two other companies have been issued with lower-level investigation outcomes. Fletcher Steel Limited has been issued with a warning and United Steel Limited has been issued with compliance advice. Investigations are continuing into several other companies.

"The commission began investigating seismic steel mesh in August 2015 after a complaint was laid that some steel mesh products did not comply with the Australia/New Zealand standard," the commission said last year.

Fletcher was warned for engaging in conduct that was likely to breach the Fair Trading Act on 19 specific batches of 500E product. The commission was concerned these batches did not comply with the standard because Fletchers' re-testing was not conducted in line with the strict requirements and its quality data recorded some values that were lower than required by the standard.

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But the commission was satisfied that the mesh had the strength and ductility required by the standard, so was comfortable with just issuing a warning letter.