For a year now we've been running stories about mysterious cracks in Monier concrete roof tiles.
When we first covered the story Monier had been blaming the cracks on the Canterbury quakes. That wasn’t the case, and Monier’s boss in New Zealand admitted that.
Monier refuses to explain what is causing the cracks. It refuses even to say the word "crack" in public. At one point they referred to "light coloured marks".
In late 2013 the Commerce Commission began investigating, and that investigation continues.
Monier in NZ is part of CSR, a huge Australian building products company with revenues of nearly NZ$2 billion in the most recent financial year.
We twice interviewed Monier's NZ boss, Simon Herriott. He has now left the company, and we don’t know why.
For much of the past year we've been trying to get an interview with Rob Sindel (above), the big boss over in Sydney. Fat chance.
Monier is replacing roofs in this country, but typically demands the homeowners sign a confidentiality agreement.
What is the problem?
We don’t know, because Monier won’t tell us. What we know is that tiles are cracking, like the photos above.
What should you do?
If your tiles look like these photos then contact Monier immediately, and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monier 0800 666 437 or monier.co.nz
Most recent Monier statement
19th June 2014
"Update on product enquiries
"Monier continues to investigate and resolve any product issues received as quickly as possible. We remain committed to the long term success of the New Zealand housing market, as we have done over the last 50 years.
"We stand by our 50 year product warranty for all roof tiles manufactured by Monier and our efforts to resolve the product issues received to date is evidence of that commitment.
"If any customer has an enquiry about the performance of their Monier roof, they should contact Monier on 0800 666 437.
"Monier reiterates that due to safety concerns homeowners should not inspect their roof without a qualified roofing professional."
The 50 year guarantee
Monier's main selling point is that amazing 50 year guarantee. We think it's not as impressive as it used to be.
They've released a new 2014 version and it's twice as long as the old one, plus there's many more exclusions listed, including hailstorms!
We also note that the Monier website used to say their concrete tiles "will never crack or warp". Now it just says "will never warp".
Our Monier stories
26th June 2013
Mysterious cracks in tiles at two Canterbury Miller houses
Monier blames quakes for the cracks, but boss Simon Herriott admits that wasn’t the case
21st August 2013
Monier refers to “light coloured marks” on some Canterbury roofs
Roofer Kerry Saggers grinds away a "light coloured mark" at Tod house in Canterbury to reveal gaping crack, and snaps several tiles along the "light coloured mark". Private Monier letters say "cracks … manufacturing defect".
4th September 2013
Release the reports!
Monier refuses to release reports on homeowners' roofs. Monier document from 2001 emerges referring to "stress cracks".
23rd October 2013
Commerce Commission investigation launched
Monier knew of problems at Ryman Healthcare villages but didn’t tell. We pay an unscheduled visit to Monier's Simon Herriott.
Monier dumps Simon Herriott, and waters down their guarantee and product claims.
And here's Gordon Harcourt having a very painful encounter with a concrete roof tile , on TVNZ Breakfast.