New NZS3910

NZS3910:2013 updates and improves NZS3910:2003. This is New Zealand’s most widely used construction contract so any improvements will be significant for the industry.

The Standards Committee has also announced the introduction of two new standard contracts:

  • NZS3916 – a design and construct contract, and
  • NZS3917 – a fixed term contract.

Both are still under development but are expected to be published within the next few months.

Link: Chapman Tripp’s detailed analysis of NZS3910:2013

The Building Amendment Bill (No.4)

This has been reported back from select committee and is currently awaiting its third reading. The Bill:

  • amends the Building Act 2004 to provide stronger and more comprehensive consumer protections
  • clarifies the exemptions from building consent requirements in Schedule 1 of the Act
  • increases the maximum penalty for doing work without a consent from $650 to $1,000
  • proposes a number of changes to improve dam safety, and
  • enables territorial authorities to deal with “non-dangerous” buildings that are at risk because they are situated near a dangerous building.

Link: Keeping our dams safe discussion document

The Construction Contracts Act Amendment Bill

This is due to be reported back from select committee on 11 December 2013.

Key changes will:

  • broaden the definition of “construction work” to include design, engineering and quantity surveying
  • largely remove the distinction between residential and commercial contracts, and
  • expand the adjudication and enforcement process to apply to non-monetary disputes.

Link: Chapman Tripp’s commentary on the Bill

Residential Construction Sector Market Study

Submissions are due by 18 December on an options paper to reduce the barriers to competition and productivity in the residential construction sector. Areas identified for reform include:

  • product assurance and certification
  • proposals to encourage competition by preventing “no substitutes” product specification, or requiring specification by performance
  • consenting processes
  • greater transparency around strategic practices such as the provision of rebates or targeted discounts, and
  • measures to reduce the anti-competitive impact of anti-dumping duties and tariffs.

Link: Options paper