Rise of the robot brickie

Automation could wipe out 600,000 construction jobs by 2040. The Telegraph have published an article after new research by UK Construction Company Mace predicts hits in the industry due to new technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous vehicles. It predicts that by 2040 the number of bricklayers in UK building sites will fall…

Weak retaining walls no defence to subsidence claim

In the recent High Court decision of Cattell v Auckland Council [2017] NZHC 2140, the High Court applied the principles of the tort of nuisance to a case where Council excavations on a reserve caused significant cracks to the driveway of a neighbouring property. The case concerned earthworks carried out in 1996 by the North Shore…

Facilitator of timely payments, or draconian regime?

Can a contractor get around their delays and inadequacies simply by issuing a payment claim? The recent High Court case of GPW Investments Ltd v Dreamhome Construction Group Ltd [2017] NZHC 2057 illustrates the interaction between the payment regime under the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA), and the statutory demand regime under the Companies Act…

Can smart contracts replace lawyers?

What are smart contracts? They allow you to exchange anything of value in a transparent way which cuts out the middleman (for example, lawyers). Take renting a holiday home for example. If the renter pays the landlord the required amount of cryptocurrency (e.g. Bitcoins), the smart contract will release a digital key to the renter…

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…

LookSee Build – recruiting construction talent for NZ

This blog post is written by Ariana Stuart, a senior associate in Kensington Swan’s Construction and Major Projects team.  With resources within the construction industry dwindling, a group of private companies and public organisations are launching a new campaign ‘LookSee Build’ in October targeting global construction talent to fill the immediate and short-term skills gaps identified…

Longer opt-in period for leaky building class action

The Court of Appeal has allowed a representative class action against James Hardie New Zealand, for inherent defects in its ‘Harditex’ and ‘Titan Board’ cladding systems that allegedly contributed to a large number of leaky homes. The class action alleges that James Hardie was both negligent in its manufacture of the cladding systems, and breached…