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Industry backed investigation into alleged use of non-load bearing timber

The Department has welcomed industry cooperation as it investigated allegations that non-load bearing timber has been used for frames and trusses in houses over the past 18 months.

Responsible industry members, concerned that the actions of a few truss and frame manufacturers would risk the reputations of the many, brought the allegations to the Department's attention.

The investigation found no immediate public safety risks from the practice, although there was evidence that a manufacturer may have breached the Fair Trading Act 1986. The Department has referred this to the Commerce Commission, and is continuing to look at a handful of other manufacturers.

Earlier, the Minister for Building and Construction, the Hon Maurice Williamson, had congratulated the Frame and Truss Manufacturers' Association for alerting both its members and the Department about the practice. The Department's report was given to the Minister last December.

Guidance has subsequently been issued to all building consent authorities about how they could approach approving building work as being Building Code compliant where non-load bearing timber has been used.

The Department is continuing to work with the Wood Processors Association and the timber industry to clarify requirements about the use, practice and marking of structural grade timber.