Steel company Steel & Tube has been charged for allegedly claiming its mesh products were a higher grade than they really were.
The Commerce Commission today announced it had filed 29 charges against the company for allegedly making false and misleading representations about its steel mesh product known as SE62.
The commission alleges the company made representations on batch tags, batch test certificates, advertising collateral and website that SE62 was 500E grade steel, when it was not.
The 500E mesh in is a ductile product that is often used in concrete slabs like house foundation slabs and driveways.
"The charges also allege that false and misleading representations were made by Steel & Tube that SE62 steel mesh had been independently tested and certified, when it had not," the commission said in a statement.
"This included using the logo of an independent testing laboratory on SE62 test certificates when the product had not been tested by the laboratory."
The charges stem from complaints about the validity of claims being made by three companies selling steel mesh in New Zealand,.
Charges were also filed earlier this year against Timber King Ltd and NZ Steel Distributor Ltd in relation to false and misleading representations about 500E steel mesh, the commission said.
These companies had entered guilty pleas and would be sentenced in court in August.
The commission expected to lay charges against one other company, and investigations continue into one additional company.
Steel & Tube pointed out in a statement that the charges related to "the application of testing methodologies only, not the performance characteristics of the seismic mesh".
"Steel & Tube has been cooperating with the commission throughout its investigation and was aware of the decision to file charges today. Steel & Tube is working with the Commerce Commission to reach an appropriate resolution of the charges, however cannot comment further as the matter is before the court," the statement said.
"Steel & Tube continues to stand behind its products, and since April 2016, all of the company's seismic mesh has been tested externally by accredited laboratories."