Musings of a busy mind

Not for the first time this year, I have on my desk a government contract which suggests that, despite their recent assurances to the contrary, the Government has not learned its lesson as a good contracting party. The contract in question contains a completely unrealistic and unjustified transfer of risk; not because it's a good idea, but because they can.

The time is now right, it seems to me, for greater use of the independent neutral - (1) peer reviewing; (2) probity auditing; and (3) disputes boards. Sometimes an independent, experienced voice is required to curb half baked and ill considered tendencies.


LawTalk, the NZLS magazine, has published a more detailed article of mine on how to resolve the issues currently plaguing the construction industry. With prior experience of the UK and Australia, it is baffling that in a booming construction sector (not just building and housing), we have contractor's failing, margins falling and prices escalating.

Any solution must address:

(1) the procurement process
(2) sensible allocation of risk
(3) appropriate contract terms which recognise the roles of the parties, and properly protect subcontractors
(4) prompt, fair and cost effective dispute resolution


Congratulations to Stuart Robertson and the Committee of the NZ branch of the Society of Construction Law on winning the right to host the International SCL Conference in Auckland in 2020.

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