Australian Senate provides update on aluminium composite cladding use

Following concerns with the use of aluminium composite cladding in Australia, on 5 September the Senate Economics References Committee released its interim report on aluminium composite cladding as part of the broader non-conforming building product inquiry. The report is substantive (100 pages) and the recommendations made are summarized as follows: The Commonwealth Government urgently implement a…

Planning on buying ‘off the plans’?

If you walk around central Auckland you will see that a number of apartment blocks are being advertised for sale before the building has even been constructed. Buying ‘off the plans’ continues to be popular as first home buyers look to secure their property ownership dreams and savvy investors see opportunities to make a profit…

Retentions reform on the cards

With the passing of the Construction Contracts Amendment Act (previously mentioned here), the entire construction industry will need to become familiar with the changes to retention sums and various parties’ rights and obligations. Click here to read Kensington Swan’s views on this topic in an article published in the most recent edition of New Zealand…

Arbitration or Summary Judgment?

In a recent High Court case, Teak Construction Limited v Andrew Brands Limited [2015] NZHC 2312, Associate Judge J P Doogue granted an application to dismiss summary judgment proceedings on the grounds that the Court had no jurisdiction as the parties had agreed to submit disputes to arbitration by the terms of their contract (NZS…

Buildings in Motion

For those based in Auckland, you may be familiar with the rotating restaurant located up the Sky Tower named ‘Orbit’. This restaurant rotates slowly so that diners enjoy changing views overlooking Central Auckland. But have you heard of buildings in motion which actually change their shape? David Fisher from Dynamic Architecture is planning to build…

The Q’eswachaka Bridge

The Q’eswachaka bridge spans the Apurimac river near Huinchiri in Canas Province, Peru. Since the time of the Inca, the residents of the region gather annually to rebuild this bridge using traditional Inca engineering techniques. In only three days, the bridge is constructed out of grass (known as Q’oya) which has been woven and pulled…

Arbitration clauses: what if there is no clear dispute?

The Supreme Court addressed this issue at the end of last year in Zurich Australian Insurance Limited t/a Zurich New Zealand v Cognition Education Limited [2014] NZSC 188. Many construction contracts refer disputes to arbitration, and so the principles of this case are likely to impact construction disputes. Cognition had made a claim under its…