Tag Archives: asb

Falling through the cracks: experts warn of a wave of new buildings failing earthquake standards

There’s the bank, the car dealership and the tyre shop. The bike store, the booze store and the real estate firm.

Take a walk around the streets of Masterton, the 23,000-strong beating heart of the Wairarapa region, and you wouldn’t go far before seeing one of the near-new commercial properties, the product of a thriving rural economy and a civic centre that takes great pride in its appearance.

But take a closer look, and cracks start to appear.

A Stuff investigation has found 13 near-new buildings have structural weaknesses in Masterton, raising fears of systemic failings in the engineering industry.

READ MORE: Nationwide building boom creating next leaky buildings crisis

The design faults, which were not picked up by council, reduced five of the buildings’ seismic strength status to “earthquake prone”.

Now the owner of two of the buildings is struggling to find anyone accountable for the costly errors.

Faulty design work was first discovered when a private Masterton developer Percy McFadzean commissioned a seismic review of a building he constructed in 2005 to be leased to ASB Bank on Masterton’s Queen St.

The initial report found serious design flaws that made the new building earthquake prone. These findings were backed up by two more detailed reviews conducted by independent structural engineering firms.

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Header image Photo Credit: Wikimedia

 

KiwiSavers invest in cluster bomb, land mine manufacturers

The subject of Kiwisaver has certainly raised a lot of questions lately with regard to the investment of funds by our corporation. Likewise have been the questions around our PM’s ongoing alliance with the US war machine. Check this one out!

EnvirowatchRangitikei

 

radionz.co.nz

Hundreds of thousands of KiwiSaver members in government-appointed default schemes may be unknowingly investing in companies making cluster bombs and anti-personnel mines.

A solider planting a land mine.

Photo: radionz.com

At least five of the nine default KiwiSaver providers invested in these types of companies, despite them being banned by government agencies such as the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and ACC.

The Green Party and Amnesty International say the government must review default providers that have investments in these weapons.

People who sign up to KiwiSaver but do not pick a scheme to enrol in are automatically allocated to one of nine providers hand-picked by the government.

These default providers are ANZ, Westpac, ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank, AMP, Mercer, Grosvenor and Fisher Funds.

More than 500,000 people are enrolled in default schemes, according to figures supplied by Inland Revenue.

An investigation by RNZ has found the default funds run by ANZ, Westpac, ASB, AMP and Grosvenor invested in the anti-personnel mine manufacturer Northrop Grumman and nuclear weapon or base operators Fluor Corp, Honeywell International and Lockheed Martin.

Westpac, ASB, BNZ, Grosvenor and AMP also invested in cluster bomb manufacturers General Dynamics and Textron.

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund and ACC are not allowed to invest in any of these companies because of the government’s obligations under international conventions banning the use of these weapons and investment in the companies that make them.

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