Connecting New Zealand

Construction contracts after COVID-19

28 Oct 2020

CCNZ has received quite a few enquiries about how pandemics and the risk of lockdown is managed in contracts signed since February 2020, especially in relation to contractor entitlements in the event of return to a COVID Level 4 lockdown or the incidence of another pandemic type event.

Contractors should be aware that contracts signed since February 2020 are likely to be interpreted differently than those signed before that time. In particular, clause 10.3.1(f) (of a standard NZS 3910 contract) in terms of unforeseeable events may not be able to be relied on, as it could be argued that further lockdowns are now foreseeable. 

On 18 June 2020, CCNZ and Core Associate member Dentons Kensington Swan ran a webinar on future contracts. The key message was that contracts should now include special conditions to deal specifically with COVID-19 or similar epidemic or pandemic events to protect the contractor’s position around both time and money.

Dentons Kensington Swan provided some examples of special conditions to manage this risk as part of the webinar. A full copy of their presentation and the suggested clauses can be accessed using the left menu in the members section of CCNZ’s website

The following issues need to be considered 
• Costs related to demobilisation, maintaining the site during lock down and remobilisation
• Costs of holding staff, materials and equipment during lock down
• Extensions of time equivalent to lockdown or longer e.g. if key supply chains are disrupted in NZ or overseas, whether critical jobs can’t be completed within a construction season, or key staff cannot be bought into the country 
• Any loss of productivity or disruption due to Level 2 or Level 3 restrictions 

Dentons Kensington Swan has extensive expertise in all aspects of construction law. Members are entitled to 15 minutes free legal advice from Dentons Kensington Swan under CCNZ’s Core Associate agreement, and their team are on hand to answer any questions and clarify contracts post COVID-19 if required. 

If you wish to use this service, please contact CCNZ Membership and Events Manager Eve Cooper with a brief description of your query and we will identify the right person to support you.

Log in now to access the webinars>>




Principal Business Partner
Core Associates
Major Associates
Global Survey - Auckland
Terra Cat
Mico New Zealand Ltd
Geofabrics New Zealand Ltd
Sheet Pile Ltd
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency
Youngman Richardson
Marley NZ Ltd
nib Advice Financial
Wirtgen NZ Ltd
TRIG Instruments
Southeys Group Auckland
Winstone Aggregates
Milwaukee Tool New Zealand
Humes Pipeline Systems
Hynds Pipe Systems
TR Group
H.J. Asmuss & Co. Ltd
UDC Finance
Liebherr New Zealand
Mimico NZ Ltd
MATES In Construction
First Gas
Infrastructure New Zealand
A B Equipment Ltd
Porter Group Limited
Turners Group Ltd: Head Office/Auckland
Manage Company
SAMI Bitumen Technologies New Zealand Ltd
Vertu Equipment Limited
ERoad Ltd
Geosynthetic Partners International Ltd
Komatsu NZ Ltd
Turbo Staff Limited
TotalEnergies NZ Ltd
Doug the Digger
John Deere Limited
Western Institute of Technology Limited
Teletrac Navman
TLC Insurance Limited
BNZ Partners
Firth Certified Concrete
Synergy Positioning Systems


Forgot password?
Create an Account