Police have urged tradesmen to up their site security, after a number of Auckland construction sites have recently been robbed. Since 20 February, at least six robberies have occurred in the Waitemata area alone, with other areas affected also (see further here).
These recent incidents serve as a timely reminder to secure buildings and vehicles on-site. Expensive fittings are particularly susceptible to theft – police suggest that these are delivered just prior to installation and only once the building is able to be secured.
Furthermore, contracting parties need to ensure that the construction contract clearly provides when legal ownership of materials will pass to the principal. This will ensure that in situations such as theft or insolvency there is no ambiguity around who has ownership (and therefore responsibility).