Retention trust accounts

On 17 April 2014, Clayton Cosgrove, Labour’s commerce spokesman, issued a supplementary order paper (SOP) moving an amendment to the Construction Contracts Amendment Bill which would require subcontractor retention payments to be placed into an independent trust account. The proposed amendments largely mirror updated legislation in New South Wales which came into force on Monday…

Working Prisons Project

The Government is planning to spend $87million upgrading 5 prisons around the country (read the news article here). The upgrades to Invercargill, Whanganui, Tongariro, Waikeria and Rolleston are intended to upgrade staff facilities, improve seismic strengthening and improve educational resources. Work at Invercargill prison began last month and prisoners are expected to be offered opportunities…

Update on New Zealand’s support for solar power

Hot on the heels of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s announcement last week on New Zealand’s support of solar energy in Samoa (read the blog post here), over the weekend Mr McCully visited the site of New Zealand funded Te Mana o te Ra solar array in Rarotonga. The contract for constructing the solar array in…

New light on solar power

Solar power is in the news with Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, announcing yesterday that New Zealand is supporting the construction of the Pacific’s largest solar energy array in Samoa. The Minister noted that renewable energy is a strong focus of New Zealand’s support to developing countries. The increased focus on solar power is not just…

Building warranty insurance

Lloyds of London has confirmed its intention to underwrite a new building warranty insurance scheme. The scheme, which is based on a similar model in Britain, hopes to cover around half of the new-build market. Cover under the scheme is intended to last 10 years from completion creating an overlap with the longstop limitation period…

Subcontractor retentions

Over the weekend Clayton Cosgrove, Labour’s commerce spokesman, released plans to add a supplementary order paper (SOP) to the Construction Contracts Amendment Bill that is currently progressing through Parliament. The SOP would require owners to put ‘progress payments’ in an independent trust account. The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment is currently investigating the issue…

Opus cautious over growth prospects

Opus Consultants Limited held their annual general meeting yesterday in Wellington. Opus had previously reported a decrease in net profit after tax and a smaller dividend to shareholders. One of the silver linings was the company’s strong performance in Canada, spurred in part by their NZ$53m acquisition of Stewart Weir. Some of the highlights and…

Plug pulled on 5-star hotel in Dunedin

The Otago Daily Times has reported that the potential developers of a 5-star hotel in Dunedin pulled out of the multi-million dollar project yesterday, just over a month after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Dunedin City Council. It appears Betterways Advisory Limited has scrapped the proposed waterfront hotel when a joint traffic management…

Onerous contract conditions usually backfire

Heaping the bulk of the risk on one party in a construction contract is more likely to lead to disputes.  It is common to see a party who believes it has the upper hand insisting on onerous contract terms which pass risks onto others who are least able to manage them. In turn, those parties…