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Building and Construction Minister Jenny Salesa is sitting on her hands and reports outlining major safety concerns, while dangerous aluminium composite panels are still being used to construct new buildings, National’s Building and Construction spokesperson Andrew Bayly says.

“A year on from London’s Grenfell Tower tragedy, where the highly combustible panels directly contributed to the fire claiming 72 lives, Ms Salesa is refusing to take immediate action to improve New Zealanders’ safety. There is no excuse.

“Today in Parliament, the Minister hid behind operational responsibility. She has effectively washed her hands of the matter and said that this is a matter for the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

“Ms Salesa has received two reports recommending these same aluminium composite panels as used on Greenfell Tower should be banned from use on new buildings here.

“Given the revelation that there are 25 buildings in Auckland which have installed the highly inflammable polyester composite ACP products, as well as buildings in Wellington and Christchurch, then New Zealanders deserve action.

“While the risk in New Zealand is lower due to the overall construction of the buildings and additional fire safety measures, this serious issue requires a swift response from the Minister and as much information as possible in the public domain – but we’re getting neither.

“The Minister needs to urgently explain why is allowing her officials to sit on these reports for so long. She needs to put a stop to the use of these dangerous building materials in New Zealand.”

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