Under any construction contract, there will be provision for extensions of the time for completion caused by qualifying events, for example variations or delays by the employer or its agents (primarily the architect/engineer). The purpose of such provisions is to preserve the employer’s entitlement to claim delay damages.
Musings of a busy mind
In October 2017, the International Bar Association held its annual conference in Sydney. I was tasked, along with Jaime Gray from Navarro Sologuren, Paredes & Gray in Lima, Peru, with chairing the first session of the International Construction Projects Committee, on Construction Management – A Path to a Good Outcome or a Sure Way to Blow the Budget?
In early April 2017, Paul Foster-Bell MP’s private members’ bill amending the Arbitration Act 1996 was drawn from the ballot, and on 12 April 2017, the Arbitration Amendment Bill 2017 received its first reading. It is now with the Electoral and Justice Select Committee for consideration. Since the election, and Mr Foster-Bell MP’s retirement, the Bill has been taken over by Andrew Bayly MP.
On Tuesday, 14 November 2017, I was asked to present a paper at a Legalwise seminar on Public Decision Making and Reason Writing. The focus of my paper was on the relevance of the Government Rules of Sourcing, the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), which New Zealand acceded to on 13 July 2015, and recent case law on importing public law issues into challenges of Government procurement projects.
The kindlier version of the TPPA, the Comprehensive and Progressive TransPacific Partnership Agreement, has been in the press recently, with an excellent article from Simon Foote of Bankside Chambers in the NBR (sorry, I can’t link it, as it’s behind a firewall), and an article in the UK’s CDR magazine, in which Daniel Kalderimis from Chapman Tripp sheds some light on the revisions, and there are some nice quotes from Deborah Hart and from me in our AMINZ capacities.
Two recent cases in the High Court, Richina Pacific v AAI (formerly Vero Insurance) & Samson  NZHC 1686 and Custom Street Hotel v Plus Construction  NZHC 3049 shine the light on the use of bonds in New Zealand.
In May of this year, the AMINZ Council approved the new AMINZ Arbitration Rules. The Rules were result of extensive work by the drafting committee, chaired by me and assisted by Sir David Williams QC from Bankside Chambers in Auckland, Wendy Miles QC from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in London, James Hosking from Chaffetz Lindsey LLP in New York, Daniel Kalderimis from Chapman Tripp in Wellington, Timothy Lindsay from Lindsay litigation-arbitration in Auckland and Sophie East from Bell Gully in Auckland.
On Monday, 13 November 2017, AMINZ ran a one day seminar on resolving disputes in the construction industry. The day was chaired by Derek Firth, and presentations were made by Stuart Robertson, from Kensington Swan in Auckland, on the role of the Engineer; Janine Stewart, from Minster Ellison Rudd Watts in Auckland, on adjudication under the Construction Contracts Act 2002; Michael Weatherall, from Simpson Grierson in Auckland, on the use of disputes boards; and I rounded out the day on the use of arbitration.