Important COVID-19 Update


These are certainly challenging times for us all.

We are committed to doing everything we can to prioritise the wellbeing of our people, those who use our services and their representatives and the communities we serve to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday, our people will begin working remotely from today, Monday 23 March.

Having well developed online dispute resolution options, it will in many ways be business as usual for us as we focus on providing a seamless service, regardless of where our Registry staff, adjudicators, arbitrators and mediators are working.

We know you are working through similar challenges to ours and that these are uncertain times for everyone. From all of us here we send our thoughts to you, your teams and families.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance to you and we will keep you informed with any further updates.

June 2016

In this issue we feature ‘Judicial Remedies for Construction Defects: Common Law, Equity or Statute’, a paper prepared by Philip Britton and delivered by Philip to the Society of Construction Law New Zealand Inc in March of this year. We also present articles on limiting financial liability for contractors; the relevance of frustration in modern day construction contracts; delegation of an adjudicator’s decision making function; acting bona fide when calling on a bond (or not); varying no-variation clauses; entitlement to extensions of time in construction projects; and one good reason why milestone based entitlements to payment are really not such a good idea!

In ‘Case in Brief’, we present summaries of two recent cases of interest. NZ Fire Sprinkler Protection was a seminal case on how not to appoint an adjudicator under the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (to make matters worse, it is not the first time this has happened) and Iceland Drilling v Summit is an exemplar of the need to read the terms and conditions of any offer carefully – in this case the failure to read the second page cost Iceland Drilling nearly $1.3million.


  • Limiting financial liability for contractors
  • John Sisk & Son v Duro Felguro UK Ltd [2016] EWHC 81 (TCC)
  • Case in Brief: New Zealand Fire Sprinkler Protection Ltd v AFS Total Fire Protection Ltd [2016] NZHC 690
  • Facing frustration: the relevance of frustration in modern day construction contracts
  • Judicial Remedies for Construction Defects: Common Law, Equity or Statute?
  • Telling the truth is still the best policy: Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction Pty Ltd v Samsung C&T Corporation, March 2016
  • Beware – a contract can be varied orally or by conduct even if the contract says otherwise!
  • Case in Brief: Jardbonir HF trading as Iceland Drilling v Summit Hydraulic Solutions Ltd [2016] NZHC 490
  • Is time on your side: how is the completion date affected where delay is attributable to actions of both principal and contractor?
  • Where to from here: what to do when an interim payment schedule runs out