By NZHJ November 29, 2017 Building Materials

Sawmill operator Red Stag Timber has filed proceedings in the Auckland High Court against Juken New Zealand.

Red Stag Timber claims that Juken has breached the Fair Trading Act 1986 by mislabelling its engineered laminated veneer lumber product, J-Frame.

Red Stag Timber claims that by labelling J-Frame “H1.2” and failing to make it clear that J-Frame is envelope treated, Juken New Zealand failed to comply with the Building Code and misled purchasers.

For its part, Juken New Zealand says it will defend the action and is reported as saying Red Stag’s move is anti-competitive and not in the best interests of the marketplace.

In June the Commerce Commission issued Juken NZ a compliance advice letter about what it says was incorrect J-Frame labelling but, added MBIE soon after, the letter made “no judgment about the durability and performance characteristics of Juken’s J‐Frame product or whether it is fit for purpose”.

In this respect, MBIE also saw fit to further clarify the issue: “J‐Frame has a BRANZ appraisal and a CodeMark certificate. These are unaffected by the Commerce Commission’s compliance advice letter.

“This means that J‐Frame is certified for use where the H1.2 hazard class applies. If J‐Frame is specified in plans for a use in situations where the H1.2 hazard class applies then a Building Consent Authority is obliged to accept this, on the basis of the CodeMark certificate.

“If consented plans specify ‘H1.2’ and a Code Compliance Certificate has not yet been issued then a minor variation to the consent will be needed if the builder uses (or proposes to use) J‐Frame.”

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