Steel & Tube Holdings Ltd has followed the Commerce Commission in appealing the level of a fine imposed by the High Court last month in relation to its steel mesh.
The commission sought leave on Friday to go to the Appeal Court, and the company followed up later in the day.
Steel & Tube chief executive Mark Malpass said the company had carefully reviewed the decision and believed High Court judge Sarah Katz erred in setting the fine, and that the fine was excessive.
The company was fined $1.885 million in the Auckland District Court in October 2018 for breaching the Fair Trading Act by making false & misleading representations about its steel mesh products, which are used in construction to provide strength & stability in the event of an earthquake.
The commission appealed against that sentence and, in the Auckland High Court last month, Justice Ailsa Duffy increased the fine to $2.009 million on 24 charges under the Fair Trading Act.
Mr Malpass said that when the original district court fine was imposed, the company apologised to its customers, shareholders & staff for the historic breaches of the Fair Trading Act before April 2016 and stressed that the breaches were unintentional.
He added on Friday: “Both the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment and the Structural Engineering Society of NZ have indicated that homeowners should not be concerned about the safety or ductility of steel mesh in their homes. The Insurance Council of NZ also recently reassured homeowners they should not be unduly concerned about insurance claims in respect of homes containing steel mesh from Steel & Tube.”
23 September 2019: Increase in steel mesh fine for Steel & Tube still not stiff enough for Commerce Commission
28 August 2019: High Court increases fine over steel mesh
21 November 2018: Both sides appeal steel mesh penalty
24 October 2018: Steel & Tube fined $1.885 million for misleading steel mesh representations
20 August 2018: Steel mesh supplier Brilliance fined for misleading representations
26 April 2018: First companies sentenced arising from steel mesh investigation
2 November 2016: Steel mesh testing rules tightened
21 August 2016: Steel mesh testing requirements out for feedback
25 April 2016: Commission lifts ‘stop’ on Euro Corp steel mesh
8 April 2016: Steel & Tube undertakes dual mesh testing
5 March 2016: Suppliers recheck as commission questions steel mesh, ministry not worried
Attribution: Company release.