Warnings about substandard building products coming into the country have triggered a major industry inquiry. Plumbing, electrical products, exterior claddings, roofing, glass and power tools have been singled out.  The Building Industry Federation and Construction Industry Council are looking into product quality after fielding a flood of calls from worried members about a wide range of untested imports.

Building Industry Federation chief executive Bruce Kohn said the problem was escalating.

"The federation has received many expressions of concern about the questionable quality of a range of new products and materials entering the country," he said.

"That's especially so in the areas of plumbing, electrical products, exterior claddings, roofing, glass and power tools."

There were also problems with fake certifications and appraisals in the building industry, he said.

Plumbing groups had said there were no legally enforceable standards for pipes and fittings in New Zealand, and half of all new houses had plumbing that would fail performance tests in Australia.

The groups said there should be compulsory certification of building supplies, as in Australia.

Minister of Building and Housing Nick Smith said his officials had found no evidence of problems with substandard plumbing products in new homes. Dr Smith dismissed claims the country could be heading towards another 'leaky homes'-type crisis caused by defective plumbing fittings.

The ministry had made inquiries but found no major problems, he said, and advised anyone with evidence of poor-quality plumbing products to talk to the government.

The public should be wary of claims about substandard foreign products, because it could just be local companies trying to reduce competition from overseas, he said.

Source: RadioNZ