July Construction News

MinterEllisonRuddWatts in the Market

Presenting at Society of Construction Law Conference

On 23 July, Construction Partner Janine Stewart chaired the Society of Construction Law New Zealand Conference on the Fundamentals of Construction Law, The Project Lifecycle at Eden Park. Janine spoke about the current state of play in the construction industry, what is going well in the industry, including the impact of the recently launched Construction Accord, and what the industry can improve on. Janine’s introductory paper can be found here.

Senior Associate Travis Tomlinson presented on the legal considerations in procurement processes and spoke about the legal risks in tendering processes and the way in which procurers and suppliers can manage these risks. Travis’ key takeaways from his presentation were:

  • The development of tendering laws may provide legal protection to those involved in tendering processes, particularly suppliers. However, these laws also introduce risk should the express and implied terms of the tendering process not be followed
  • To address these risks, procuring parties need to properly plan their procurement. This involves ensuring that they properly define their requirements and that their tender documentation, including any evaluation mechanisms, reflects those requirements. Procurement planning also involves considerations about whether to go to market or whether a procurer’s project objectives can be achieved by direct negotiation. If a procurer does go to market, investing in good tender documentation and then an unwavering approach to ensuring compliance with its tendering process, will go a long way to managing these risks, and
  • Finally, in order for suppliers to benefit from the protection given by tender process contract laws, suppliers also need to achieve compliance by way of submitting a conforming tender and in respect of their involvement in the ensuing tender process.

Upcoming Thought Leadership seminar

On 29 August, our construction team is hosting our third Thought Leadership seminar where we will examine the question of whether the current adjudication process in the construction sector is fit for purpose and what other dispute resolution processes and forums are available and their effectiveness. Register your interest here.

Have your say…

As part of the seminar, we are also conducting a survey on the industry’s experience and perception of the adjudication process. The survey can be completed within 5 minutes.

Please click through on the below link to let us know your thoughts. Results from the survey will be discussed at the seminar.

Complete the survey

We need to talk about … Mental health in the construction and infrastructure sectors

On August 6 in Auckland and August 15 in Wellington, our panel of experts will discuss the impacts of poor mental health on worksite safety and construction projects generally, as well as strategies and insights on how to mitigate associated risks.

Register your interest here.

Article on wrongful suspension for non-payment published in LawNews

LawNews featured Partner Janine Stewart and Senior Solicitor Kate Muldrew’s article on wrongful suspension for non-payment of a payment claim, a payment schedule or an adjudicator’s determination. Read the article here.


Article on the consequences of change to project teams published in New Zealand Construction News

New Zealand Construction News featured Partners Janine Stewart and Gillian Service and Senior Solicitor Shukti Sharma’s article discussing the consequences of change to construction project teams and how to minimise the risk against employee loss on projects. Read the article here.


Article on a recent High Court decision involving parent companies

Our Dispute Resolution team published a news alert on the recent High Court decision in Minister of Education v H Construction North Island Ltd (in rec and liq) where a non-party parent company was ordered to pay costs. Read the alert here.

Market Activity

Solar farm under consideration would be biggest in the country

Refining New Zealand is considering spending up to $39 million to build the country’s largest solar farm in Northland. The farm is intended to power the company’s Marsden Point oil refinery to reduce their electricity consumption and cut emissions.

 Full article here



Wanaka boutique hotel to be constructed in China

A proposed Wanaka luxury lodge will be built almost entirely in modular form in China. B-Group’s newest development will consist of 44 pre-built modules, which are expected to take only five days to assemble. The lodge could be open as early as April next year, after works begin in late November.

Full article here



New houses have cladding and joinery that lasts just 15 years

 New homeowners are unaware that the required lifespan of construction materials such as cladding and windows is just 15 years under the current Building Act. Home Owners and Buyers Association Chief Executive, Roger Levie, believes the current compliance lifespan is “crazy,” and does not do enough to protect consumers. The Property Council proposes that the Building Act make clear that manufacturers, architects and engineers, are most responsible for ensuring a product is fit for purpose.

 Full article here



133-year-old transaction to halt $500m Shelly Bay development

 In 1886, the Crawford family was made to sell much of the land at Shelly Bay to the Crown. Now, descendant Sarah Crawford has placed a caveat on Wellington City Council selling its land at Shelly Bay, halting plans for the proposed $500m development at Shelly Bay. Crawford argues that under the Public Works Act, Crawford and her relatives should have been offered the chance to buy the land at the site back ahead of developers. The caveat puts the sale on hold until the dispute is resolved. Crawford intends to stop development and use the land for a green public recreation space.

Full article here



Should insurance cover for building a new house or a big renovation be compulsory?

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is proposing measures to increase the uptake of builders warranty insurance as part of the upcoming overhaul of the Building Act. Builders warranty insurance is intended to protect homeowners from substandard building and poor builders and ensure that consenting authorities aren’t left to foot the bill as the last party standing. MBIE estimates the cost of such insurance or a guarantee would be about 1 per cent of the cost of building.

Full article here



The housing crisis could be solved by 3D printing and growing homes from seeds

 Internationally acclaimed New Zealand architect, Jo Aitken, believes that the future of housing will be heavily influenced by genetic engineering, a concept known as biodesign. Biodesign involves integrating the living world into building materials, to create sustainable and healthier homes – for example, utilising wallpapers that purify air and generate energy through photosynthesis. Mark Fraser, a project director at HLC, believes that New Zealand is slowly warming to the post-suburban age. Letting go of the quarter acre “kiwi dream” is essential to solve the housing crisis, allowing further development of terraces, flats and apartments. Fraser believes that 3D printing and innovation will allow highly customisable homes at a drastically reduced cost.

Full article here



Construction industry called on to reduce carbon emissions

 Sustainable building advocates want the construction industry to be given a clear signal that it needs to reduce its carbon emissions. Over the decade leading up to 2017, emissions in the construction sector increased by 66%. As part of the government’s Zero Carbon Bill, the government intends to establish an independent Climate Change Commission to advise and hold the government accountable. Green Building Council’s Chief Executive, Andrew Eagles, has said the construction sector would be receptive to the new law if there are clear targets and the government commits to building to sustainable standards.

Full article here



Town centre plan in Southern Auckland set to be finalised

 The final plans for a 51 hectare project in Drury are now underway, and due to be finalised by Auckland Council in the next few months. The development could see up to 3270 new homes, and create 6000 new jobs in the area over the next 20 years. Given Drury’s adjacency to both the Southern Motorway and the rail corridor, it is envisioned as the next logical growth node in the Auckland region.

Full article here



Construction begins on Taranaki’s Green School

 Construction has begun on the Green School for year 1-13 students, due to open in Taranaki next year. A driveway, paths and parking areas, made from recycled concrete, have been laid and more than 15,000 native plants have been planted. The School will contain three learning “pods” which will be fitted out with high level insulation and vapour barriers to keep them at a constant temperature and minimise the need for artificial heating, providing children with a safe and comfortable environment within nature to focus and learn.

Full article here


Who can help