Statutory adjudication under the Construction Contracts Act (the Act) is the most commonly used dispute resolution process in New Zealand for resolving building and construction disputes, offering a unique, fast, and relatively straightforward statutory process for resolving disputes that arise under construction contracts. Adjudication is quick and cost effective. Most disputes are resolved in less than six weeks from the time the process is initiated. The Act applies with very few exceptions to every construction contract that relates to the carrying out of construction work in New Zealand. Any party who has a dispute or difference with any other party to that contract can refer that dispute to adjudication.

A claimant (the party referring a dispute to adjudication) may secure the appointment of a Building Disputes Tribunal adjudicator within 24 hours of making an application. A claimant does not require the agreement of the respondent to apply to the Tribunal for the appointment of an adjudicator. The respondent cannot delay, avoid, or avert the adjudication process and will be bound by the outcome whether or not the respondent participates in the process.

For more information on the adjudication process, please see the Guides and Resources and FAQ sections in the adjudication menu. 

Why use the Building Disputes Tribunal for adjudication?
  • Building Disputes Tribunal has unrivalled experience in administering adjudication services in New Zealand: The Tribunal has been delivering specialist fully administered end-to-end dispute resolution services to the building and construction industry since 1990. The Tribunal has appointed adjudicators and administered adjudication proceedings in more than 900 adjudication cases under the Construction Contracts Act 2002 and our adjudicators have adjudicated approximately 85% of all building disputes referred to adjudication each year in New Zealand since 2008.

  • Fair, prompt, and cost effective: Building Disputes Tribunal is committed to resolving building and construction disputes fairly, promptly, and cost effectively. Fixed fee services for low value claims are available (claims under $50K subject to conditions).

  • 24 hour appointment service and ongoing professional case management: The Tribunal's experienced Registrars provide a highly efficient, comprehensive, and professional end-to-end case management and administration service. The Registrars help parties and their advisers understand the adjudication process and oversee and administer the adjudication process from the appointment of the adjudicator to delivery of the determination. This highly efficient registry service ensures certainty, consistency, and quality in the delivery of Building Disputes Tribunal's adjudication service.

  • Highly skilled, experienced, and respected adjudicators: The Tribunal's adjudicators are selected to join our panel of adjudicators by invitation only. They are highly trained, skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable in construction law and practice, and are respected and recognised as leaders in construction dispute resolution in New Zealand and internationally. Our dispute resolution professionals are based in New Zealand, Australia, the UK, and other countries around the globe so as to provide the broadest base of expertise, experience, independence, and impartiality.

  • Peer review of all determinations: Unless a party takes objection, each determination by a Tribunal adjudicator is subject to ‘scrutiny’ before being given to the parties. This unique quality assurance mechanism makes Building Disputes Tribunal's adjudication service New Zealand’s most reliable adjudication system.

  • Resources: Building Disputes Tribunal provides, free-of-charge, access to a wealth of resource material relevant to all of its processes, including guides, legislation, judgments, template forms and precedents, and Building Disputes Tribunal's free online quarterly journal, BuildLaw.

Ready to apply for adjudication?

If you have served a notice of adjudication (on the other party or parties to the construction contract and where appropriate, for the purpose of the adjudication, on the owner of the construction site), and you are ready to have your building or construction dispute resolved with the Building Disputes Tribunal, simply fill in our online application form and one of our Registrars will be in touch shortly.

About Us

With 20 years experience in the avoidance, management, and resolution of building and construction disputes, the Building Disputes Tribunal is recognised and respected as the leading independent, nationwide provider of specialist dispute resolution services to the building and construction industry.

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