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Construction Contracts Amendment Act

NZ $25.00
Royden Hindle 2017 Edward Scorgie 2017
Royden Hindle
Barrister
Bankside Chambers
Auckland
Edward Scorgie
Partner
Chapman Tripp
Auckland

Authors: Royden Hindle, Edward Scorgie
Published: 12 April 2017
Pages: 24

Introduction

It is often said that one can gauge the strength of an economy by counting the number of cranes on a city horizon. A corollary for gauging the efficiency of the private disputes resolution market (which, in this context, must for practical purposes be taken to mean the adjudication process under the Construction Contracts Act 2002) might be to count the number of determinations that have been delivered since the Act first came into force. But it is an impossible task. Adjudication processes are confidential and private, and so we simply do not know what the numbers are.

Even so, it seems unlikely there would be many who would say that the Act has not been a resounding success. One might well ask: Was it broke? Did it need fixing?

This seminar discusses the amendments to the Act that were brought about by the Construction Contracts Amendment Act 2015.4 It is important to say at the outset that – with the possible exception of the new regime for retentions – the amendments are about refinement and streamlining rather than any radical change.

There are as yet no decided cases in which there has been any discussion of issues emanating from the recent amendments. Looking at the amendments is, therefore, still a matter of identifying the elements of the Act that Parliament has sought to alter, and considering what the likely impact of the amendments will be.

The first part of this paper groups the changes for consideration under headings for commencement and timing of the amendments; commercial and residential construction contracts; the extension of the Act to designers, engineers and quantity surveyors; rights and obligations; single payment contracts; the adjudication process; and enforcement. The question of retentions is dealt with in the second part of the paper.

Content outline

  • Commencement and timing
  • Commercial and residential contracts
  • Designers, engineers and quantity surveyors
  • Payment claims, rights and obligations
  • Single payment contracts
  • Adjudication process
  • Scope
  • Retention trusts: the default position
  • A new option: complying instruments
  • Complying with the new regime
  • Practical options
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