Documents claiming the steel for the Seascape skyscraper in Auckland meets New Zealand standards are being assessed by the council.
The developer of the 52-storey tower, Shundi Customs, must show the steel is good enough to be used in a "seismic-resisting" structure.
That included proving each of the three steel mills in China can consistently made the right steel, as well as providing test certificates that could be traced right back to the original steel.
Auckland Council said the documentation submitted so far demonstrated that, and it was now being reviewed.
"No decision has yet been made with regard to the approval of the Seascape steel QA [quality assurance] or building consent for the superstructure and other packages," said Andrew Minturn, the council's manager of project assessment in for central city building consents.
So far, the only steel to arrive in New Zealand was 1600 tonnes to be used for temporary propping during the tower's construction.
The council has tightened its steel rules over the last several years, and was tightening them yet again to make them fully align with the Standard, called NZS3404, Mr Minturn said.
On top of that, it commonly imposed added conditions on big builds, including Seascape, such as on-site steel sampling for independent testing "of critical steel sections over and above that required by...standards".
The steel was coming from three mills: Nanjing Iron and Steel, Jiangyin Xingcheng Special Steel Works Co Ltd, and Nanyang Hanye Steel Co Ltd.
Those names do not occur on the register of the Australasian Certification Authority for Reinforcing and Structural Steels. The authority provides the most straightforward route for having imported steel approved for use by Auckland Council.
However, few companies in China are certified by the authority.