The Building Disputes Tribunal is a private company incorporated in 1996 and is respected as the only independent, nationwide, specialist dispute resolution service provider to the building and construction industry in New Zealand.

The Building Disputes Tribunal is an Authorised Nominating Authority under the Construction Contracts Act 2002 for the purpose of nominating adjudicators to determine building and construction disputes.

In addition to performing this statutory function, the Tribunal provides ongoing education and guidance to lawyers, the construction industry, and the community generally; maintains a comprehensive website; publishes a well regarded quarterly publication called BuildLaw; collects and publishes extensive statistics from the dispute resolution procedures that are referred through the Tribunal, and works closely with the industry and the legal profession in relation to dispute resolution design, development, and practice.

Our extensive knowledge and experience of building and construction law and the design and implementation of dispute resolution processes for the building and construction industry enables us to develop a comprehensive understanding of the industry’s and the community’s needs and to constantly deliver sound and commercially relevant advice on dispute resolution procedures and options and innovative and effective dispute resolution services.

The Tribunal is committed to providing fair, prompt, proportionate and cost effective dispute resolution services for parties involved in building and construction disputes including disputes related to water ingress and weathertightness.

In pursuit of that goal, the Tribunal has developed a range of specialist, fully administered dispute resolution services including:

  • Adjudication;
  • Expedited commercial arbitration;
  • Expert determination;
  • Early neutral evaluation;
  • Mediation;
  • Facilitation and,
  • Dispute review and advisory boards.

The Tribunal provides dispute resolution services throughout New Zealand and has assisted parties with resolving disputes ranging in value from less than $5,000 up to $106 Million. A large proportion of disputes however involve claims for $50,000 or less.

The Tribunal employs five persons including a qualified lawyer in its offices to provide an efficient, comprehensive and professional case management service, to ensure the prompt and effective delivery of its services, and to guide and support parties to its dispute resolution services.

The Tribunal focuses on informing and educating parties and their advisers about dispute resolution processes so that they may make informed decisions about the dispute resolution options that are available to them. The Tribunal provides free of charge 24/7 access to its comprehensive website at Parties and their advisers can obtain all the information that they need to understand and participate effectively in the various dispute resolution procedures that the Tribunal provides from our website. They can also access all the forms necessary for referring a dispute to the Tribunal, up to date case law and other information relevant to the resolution of building and construction disputes.

Traditionally building and construction disputes have been resolved by alternative processes to state litigation. Generally, litigation is unsuitable for resolving building and construction disputes due to the highly technical nature of such disputes, the volume and the nature of documents involved and the time consuming analysis of factual evidence that is required.

Uncertainty about the cost of having building and construction disputes resolved has often prevented many people from recovering monies that they are properly entitled to under building and construction contracts and reluctant payers have used that situation to their advantage. To redress that situation, the Tribunal provides fixed fee adjudication, arbitration and mediation services for low value claims of low complexity. This ensures that the cost of having a low value claim resolved by an experienced professional is not disproportionate to the amount in dispute.

The Building Disputes Tribunal maintains Panels of highly skilled and respected Adjudicators, Arbitrators, Mediators, Experts and Neutral Evaluators who are experienced in the resolution of building and construction disputes. The panelists come from a wide range of professional and industry backgrounds and include amongst their number: retired judges, lawyers, quantity surveyors, architects, engineers, project managers and building consultants. Notwithstanding their varied backgrounds, all panelists have been selected because of their extensive knowledge of construction law and building and construction practice.

The Building Disputes Tribunal’s comprehensive fully administered dispute resolution services start at this very website which has been constructed and developed to provide parties and their advisers (and our panelists) with 24/7 access to information about dispute resolution processes, relevant legislation, judgments from NZ and overseas courts, learned articles, the Tribunal’s respected quarterly publication: BuildLaw®, and much, much more.

The Tribunal also provides advice, information, support and guidance to parties and their advisers during normal business hours through the offices of its experienced and professional Registrars.

The Tribunal is committed to educating the industry, the legal profession and the community through its education and seminar programme. Details of upcoming seminars and webinars will be posted on the website from time to time with links from the home page.

If your organisation would benefit from hearing from our experienced presenters on any topic involving construction law, conflict avoidance and conflict management, or dispute resolution, please contact our Registrars at who would be only too pleased to make the necessary arrangements for you.

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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