Steel & Tube has been fined a record $1.885 million for breaching the Fair Trading Act by "making false and misleading representations" about its steel mesh products.
This is the highest fine to date under the Fair Trading Act for a single company.
Steel & Tube was sentenced after it pleaded guilty to 24 charges under the Act.
The charges relate to conduct between 1 March 2012 and 5 April 2016 and cover 482 batches and some 480,000 sheets of steel mesh.
Steel & Tube's offending fell into two categories, says the Commerce Commission:
In his judgment released today, Judge Cathcart said Steel & Tube management should have better supervised the compliance of the products and put systems in place to ensure this was adequately carried out.
After the ruling was released, Steel & Tube responded pointing out that the ruling "does not relate to the performance characteristics of the steel mesh" and that the company "took significant remedial steps after it became aware of concerns".
Steel & Tube CEO, Mark Malpass, added: “We stand by the integrity of our products.
"In our view even if our testing methods at the time did not meet the testing requirements in full, the differences in testing would not have a material impact on the performance of the steel mesh.”
The Commerce Commission carried out a series of investigations into steel mesh following a complaint in August 2015, the outcomes of which are as follows: