July Construction News
MinterEllisonRuddWatts in the Market
2020 Building Advisory Panel members announced
We congratulate, our construction team partner Janine Stewart who has been appointed to the 2020 Building Advisory Panel for the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). The Panel provides independent strategic and expert advice to MBIE on issues facing the construction sector. One of eight selected, and the only legal appointee, Janine is highly regarded for her industry leadership and expertise in construction and property disputes.
Construction Disputes & COVID-19
On 2 July 2020, our construction team partners Stephen Price and Janine Stewart, along with construction senior solicitor Kate Muldrew, presented in a live web stream on the impact of COVID-19 on the construction industry. The seminar focussed on avoiding and reso+lving COVID-19 related disputes.
Trans-Tasman circle virtual round table
On 16 July 2020, construction partner Janine Stewart was invited by Trans-Tasman Business Circle to attend a question-and-answer session with Gley Sowry (Chief Executive Officer of Metlifecare Limited). The session focussed on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Metlifecare Limited’s retirement village residents.
Articles / Papers
COVID-19 and Construction Disputes
Janine Stewart, Scott Thompson and Kate Muldrew issued a ‘COVID-19 and Construction Disputes’ paper to accompany their seminar. This paper was produced for the NZLS CLE Construction Disputes & COVID-19 In Short seminar held on 2 July 2020 and is reproduced with the kind permission of NZLS CLE Ltd. The paper focuses on:
- the legislative response to COVID-19, including the alert levels and response to economic downturn;
- how construction contracts respond to COVID-19, including entitlements to extensions of time and/or variations; and
- dispute avoidance and resolution.
How is an adjudicator’s jurisdiction set?
Further to our case alert on Alaska Construction + Interiors Auckland Limited v Christopher James Lahatte in the May issue of the construction bulletin, Partner Janine Stewart and Solicitor, Mariam Baho discuss the technical issue of what sets an adjudicator’s jurisdiction and the implications of this on the parties involved in an adjudication.
Building Act 2004 Amendment Bill: Legislative reform to the building regulatory system
Senior associate Jordan Oldham and Solicitor, Mariam Baho provide an overview in this informative piece on the Building (Building Products and Methods, Modular Components, and Other Matters) Amendment Bill – intended to boost the quality and efficiency of building work.
$570m extension to the Waikato Expressway promised by the National party
Muller has announced that a $570 million extension to the Waikato expressway will be built if National forms the next government. The expressway is intended to be extended from Cambridge to the intersection at Piarere. There were 121 crashes along the highway between 2013 and 2017 and this extension aims to improve travel times and save lives. It is estimated to take 3-4 years to complete.
New programme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions announced
The Minister for Building and Construction has announced the Building for Climate Change programme to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Building and Construction sector. Changes will be made to current building laws, targets will be set for energy use and carbon emissions, and incentives will be introduced to encourage people to think innovatively about construction, design and operation of buildings.
$708m of funding to transport infrastructure from the COVID fund
Transport infrastructure is expected to receive $708 million from the Government’s $3 billion COVID Response and Recovery fund. This is in addition to the $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme and the existing Provincial Growth Fund investments. Work is expected to be on ports, roads, cycleways and walkways. 150 “shovel-ready” projects worth $2.6 billion have also been approved by Cabinet with final due diligence being carried out.
Should the Government foot the bill for earthquake prone buildings?
Apartment owners of earthquake prone buildings are saying that the Government should pay for part of the bill for strengthening, as they did for the leaky homes bailout. They argue it is the same as the leaky homes crisis in that they purchased a property expecting it to be compliant and safe, when it was not. The Government had announced a loan scheme last year for unit owners struggling with strengthening costs.
Court of Appeal to decide on battle to take land for $40m power line
Top Energy wishes to take land under the Public Works Act from three landowners who are refusing to allow a new line on their properties. The Environment Court previously ruled in favour of Top Energy which was then appealed to the High Court. The High Court found in favour of two of the five appeal grounds. Top Energy says the ageing line is at risk of breaking apart and falling to the ground.
Leaks in Middlemore Hospital and Manukau Health Centre will cost more than $60 million
The cost of recladding work at Middlemore hospital and Manukau Health Centre is set to cost $62.5 million. Work on Middlemore’s building is being carried out with patients in the wards and coronary care unit while rotten wooden framing is being removed and cladding replaced. This has resulted in higher costs and an upgrade of fire protection was also functioned. Two other buildings are also expected to be fixed at Middlemore hospital with work commencing early next year.
$57.5 million funding boost for fire stations
Fire stations across New Zealand will receive $57.5 million for rebuilds and upgrades. Works range from total replacement of several old stations or ones with “significant seismic issues” through to partial refurbishment and improvements to obsolete facilities. The funds come from successful bids to the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund and the Crown Infrastructure Partners project funding for projects that will create and protect jobs and boost regional economies.
Construction on luxury Auckland hotel to start in two months
Development on a $250 million Auckland hotel and luxury apartment is to re-commence. Australian developers Ninety-Four Feet started the development last year but plans were slowed due to COVID-19. Works are due to recommence in two months and are expected to be delivered late 2022. Half of the 30 apartments have been sold off and interest on the apartments have been coming from all over New Zealand.