Construction Law covers all aspects of engineering and construction projects, and more generally issues arising from infrastructure development, public sector procurement land development and building disputes.
Defective building issues (the leaky homes crisis) and claims for breaches of building warranties under the Building Act 2004 have caused considerable distress to a significant number of New Zealanders. The Government has tried a number of strategies to deal with the issue, including amendments to the Building Act to be introduced into Parliament shortly. All participants in the building process need to consider their respective options carefully.
In the construction industry generally, significant changes were introduced, particularly the new payment regime and dispute resolution process (adjudication), with the Construction Contracts Act 2002. That legislation is also undergoing revision, with an amendment Act expected to be introduced in late 2012, early 2013.
By their very nature, construction and infrastructure projects (and much government procurement) involve high values, and considerable levels of uncertainty. Critical issues are identifying the uncertainties, allocating risk sensibly, and providing a fair procurement process which encourages suppliers and contractors to submit their best bids, and ensures that they are considered properly and dealt with fairly.
When disputes arise, a myriad of dispute resolution options are available, including early intervention through mediation, expert determination, early neutral evaluation, statutory adjudication, and ultimately arbitration and court action.
Bankside Chambers has experts in all aspects of construction law, including probity auditing the procurement process, mediating disputes before positions harden, advocacy at all levels, and also acting as mediators, adjudicators and arbitrators.