What do the latest changes to the Building Act mean for house builders?

Changes to the Building Act came into force on 1 January 2015.  All builders who carry out residential work, whether demolition, new build or renovations, building a new fence or retaining wall (or doing any other "building work") need to ensure they are meeting these new requirements.  Written contracts are now required for residential building…

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Changes to retentions

What are the proposed changes? Changes are being mooted to retention arrangements. The Government has announced that a "deemed trust" arrangement is their proposed solution to protect subcontractors from circmustances like those that followed Mainzeal’s collapse. Retention funds won’t need to be held in a separate bank account though so whether the funds are truly…

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A well designed neighbourhood

The legal set-up of a new subdivision or unit title development should be treated with as much care as the physical design.  It’s very easy to leave a mess – one that is difficult and expensive to resolve. The rights, rules and restrictions that a developer puts in place for the new neighbourhood are generally…

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New Health and Safety Regime

Next month the Government will begin to introduce a new Health and Safety (H&S) regime in its bid to achieve a 25% reduction in workplace fatalities and serious injuries by 2020.  As a result, most businesses will need to immediately up skill, perform due diligence and then implement the necessary change in order to be…

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The new NZS 3910:2013 standard form building contract has been published

Most residential property developers use the NZS 3910 standard form of building contract.  It’s used for infrastructure works for a subdivision or for building high-rise apartments.  It’s used regardless of the procurement method e.g. traditional client-designed projects, design/build (with or without novated design consultants).  NZS 3910 has just had a make-over.  This should mean fewer special conditions…

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Whats different about residential property development in 2013?

We are seeing new structures and different property offerings.  Now Government, Council, community organisations, iwi are all active in this space.  The focus is mostly affordable housing – ironically being delivered via complex contract structures with multiple parties involved, probably adding cost to the development process.  But the land is going into and out of…

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Congratulations to the Sugartree development team

           Sugartree have secured their development finance and have started the construction of Stage 1 which comprises 148 apartments and 15 retail units together with basement car parking. Stages 2 and 3 include 425 more apartments, more commercial units, carparking and a rooftop garden.  The team at AlexanderDorrington have been working with the Sugartree developers…

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Limitation periods

Limitation periods are relevant to all sorts of issues you come across each day: Is your builder responsible if you discover defects after they finish? You are negotiating a new supply contract for your business and considering a request for a 1 year limitation period? How long do you keep business records for in case…

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Earthquake Strengthening Policy Challenged

We understand that the Insurance Council of New Zealand is seeking judicial review of the decision by the Christchurch City Council to adopt its Earthquake Prone Dangerous and Insanitary Buildings Policy 2010.  That 2010 policy required seismic strengthening of existing buildings to a target of 67% of the new building standard in certain circumstances, including…

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Council’s new duty of care – Part 1

On 11 October 2012 the Supreme Court held that council owe a new duty of care.  It has come about from the litigation about the Spencer on Byron development, which is leaky.  The court by a 4-1 majority has held that the Court of Appeal was wrong to allow the strike out of the claim…

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Residential Developers and Building Amendment Bill (No.4)

Building Amendment Bill (No.4) had its first reading in parliament on 1 May 2012.  The bill, if passed, will significantly enhance the consumer protection measures for building work.  This article focuses on the consumer protection insofar as residential developers selling off the plan are concerned. Buyers currently have a set of implied warranties that a…

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Property Council Manifesto – Fast Forward to Growth

 The Property Council New Zealand recently released its manifesto Fast Forward to Growth.  It is easy to read, focused on commercial property and aimed at encouraging growth, productivity and investment.  Key points it advocates include: • A national policy on development contributions. • Development contributions assessed to reflect the benefits achieved by the development. • Giving developers the…

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