Exclusive: 'Deeply flawed' wall system being sold to unsuspecting Kiwis by Auckland-based Cook Islands group

1 NEWS has uncovered an extensive building scandal being run out of Auckland by a group of Cook Islanders which has resulted in homes being demolished and well over a million dollars in losses.

The company Global Fibre8 is distributing the K3T wall system made in China – and it's being sold in a number of countries.

Promoted as being innovative, strong and cheaper than anything else on the market, the wall panel system has caused two homes in Northland to be pulled down.

Randolph and Karen Urlich own one of the houses – the K3T panels they used leaked chlorides which poisoned concrete and corroded steel causing extensive cracks both inside and out.

The couple say they were building their dream home and it's cost them financially and emotionally.

"I don't want to see another family go through what we have been through and what other people have already had to suffer, and I understand it's not only in New Zealand and these guys need to be stopped," Karen Urlich told 1 NEWS.

A number of independent reports including one by Veron Building consultants show the K3T wall system is not fit for purpose - nor does it meet the New Zealand building code on a number of levels.

The Urlich's are taking legal action against Global Fibre8 and also the Far North District Council which signed the product off.

The Council has confirmed it is now a court matter and they couldn’t comment.

Speaking from his Onehunga warehouse, Global Fibre8's chief executive Tangi Tuake denies the product is the problem, blaming poor installation and builders not following the instruction manual.

"We check all the panels here before the panel goes out and we know the standard, how good the panels are - if we see any panel we feel it needs to come off the batch we separate it".

But another Northland K3T victim, Shaveran Naicker, says that didn’t happen in his case and he was left with no choice but to demolish his K3T home and rebuild after large cracks appeared.

He said he's now $400,000 out of pocket and "it's put our next 10 years on hold".

Builder Matt Jordan told 1 NEWS he has never seen anything like it in his 41 years of experience in the industry.

"It's not fit for anything really, it's OK for landfill," he said.

There are around 20 agents, many of them in New Zealand who have paid Global Fibre8 up to $50,000 to sell the product – and also hundreds of people who have paid to do a three-day installation course at the company headquarters,

1 NEWS will be revealing more about how the K3T panels have been allowed to be used in New Zealand without proper certification – and also Global Fibre8's expansion internationally.

Families have been left devastated after using K3T panels distributed by Global Fibre8, a product which experts say is flawed. Source: 1 NEWS

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