Riaia Donald

Senior Associate - Construction and Infrastructure

Riaia is a specialist construction, projects and property dispute resolution lawyer, having worked in this area of law since 2009.

She has particular experience in construction contract and project delivery disputes, focusing on claims for variations, extension of time and delays/disruption, design issues and defective works. She is experienced in bringing and defending adjudications under the Construction Contracts Act 2002 and High Court proceedings for such disputes. She has acted on important infrastructure projects including roading projects, earthquake rebuild and power stations. She works alongside her clients to provide day-to-day advice on project delivery, particularly advice on contractual compliance and to resolve claims / disputes as they arise. She provides detailed technical and strategic advice and input, while appreciating the project relationships and client’s business drivers.

Riaia also has experience in mediations and arbitrations for commercial property and lease disputes, in particular landlord and tenant obligations and rent review disputes.

She contributes to the lecturing for the Construction Law paper at the University of Auckland and Law for Construction as part of the Masters of Project Management programme at the Auckland University of Technology.

Related Articles


07 September 2021

A country divided: Alert Level differences and New Zealand’s cons...


02 October 2020

Quantum meruit: remuneration where there is no contract


02 October 2020

Strike out negligence claim appeal dismissed

Professional background

Recent work

Canterbury Earthquake Rebuild

Advising Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Ōtākaro Limited) on infrastructure disputes arising during the project delivery phase on the Metro Sports Facility and the Christchurch Convention and Exhibition Centre projects.


Advising and representing Spotless (trading as AE Smith) in disputes arising during the delivery of the Commercial Bay project, including High Court proceedings against Fletchers.


Advising and acting for Metlifecare in relation to retirement villages and construction disputes.

Road project

Advising a head-contractor on a dispute under the contract for the design and construction works to upgrade SH1, including adjudication proceedings.

Commercial development

Advising the Principal in relation to various disputes with the head-contractor for a contract for the construction and fit-out of a 14-level office building.

Construction arbitration

Advising and acting for a Body Corporate in arbitration proceedings brought by the head contractor who undertook multimillion dollars in remedial work and is claiming additional costs and time.


  • New Zealand


  • LLB (Hons), BA, University of Auckland


  • Member, Society of Construction Law
  • Member, Infrastructure New Zealand


  • Construction Litigation
  • Property and Lease Disputes
  • Dispute Resolution and Litigation
  • Defective Buildings
  • Contractual Disputes