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Standards New Zealand will provide updates on progress and how you can get involved in providing feedback through the public consultation process.

What is NZS 3910 and why is a revision needed?

NZS 3910:2013 Conditions of contract for building and civil engineering construction (NZS 3910) is used as the foundation for the majority of New Zealand contracts in the building, engineering, construction and infrastructure industry sectors (the construction sector).

It is a standard form that contains general conditions of contract for incorporation into building and civil engineering construction contract documents, suited to New Zealand’s industry and legislative environment. It enables principals, consultants, and contractors to quickly establish well understood contractual arrangements to support the delivery of a variety of building and civil engineering projects.

NZS 3910 has not been updated since 2013. This means it has not kept pace with legislative and other changes in the construction sector, resulting in a proliferation of special conditions to the standard form for individual projects.

The revision of NZS 3910 follows the scoping review that was commissioned by the New Zealand Construction Industry Council and led by Standards New Zealand in early 2021 that determined an overwhelming consensus from the construction sector that NZS 3910 required a comprehensive review.

Expected benefits of revising NZS 3910

The purpose of the revision is to make available to the construction sector a revised standard that:

  • is widely accepted and fit for purpose
  • limits the need for special conditions
  • improves understanding of contracts
  • allocates risk fairly
  • results in more contracts that embody Construction Sector Accord principles
  • allows the industry to document contracts quickly and easily (improving productivity) and address common issues.

The Accord - Construction Sector Accord(external link)

Who is commissioning the revision?

The Construction Sector Accord (through Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Hīkina Whakatutuki) and the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, are the joint commissioners and have appointed Standards New Zealand to lead and manage the process for the comprehensive revision of NZS 3910.

The joint commissioners have signed up to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which includes a number of supporting organisations from four sector groups, the Construction Sector Accord (representing the broader construction sector), and a number of organisations representing the client, consultant and contractor sectors.

The following organisations are parties to the MoU:

  • Construction Sector Accord
  • Te Waihanga
  • Property Council New Zealand
  • Auckland Council
  • Department of Corrections
  • Ministry of Education
  • Kāinga Ora
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Ministry of Health
  • New Zealand Defence Force
  • Civil Contractors New Zealand
  • Registered Master Builders
  • Specialist Trade Contractors Federation
  • New Zealand Construction Industry Council

Some of these organisations will be making direct financial contributions to support the review, while others will be receiving contributions from supporting entities from within the sector. These organisations and supporting entities are acknowledged for their commitment and support for the revision of NZS 3910.

Progress and next steps

1. Scoping report

In July 2020 the New Zealand Construction Industry Council (NZCIC) engaged with Standards New Zealand to discuss the prospect of updating NZS 3910. Standards New Zealand and NZCIC agreed to carry out a scoping review with a wide range of stakeholders. The final outcome of the scoping review is included in the Scoping report dated March 2021 prepared by Standards New Zealand.

Summary of the Scoping report NZS 3910 Conditions of contract for building and civil engineering [PDF, 1.1 MB]

2. Memorandum of Understanding

The Construction Sector Accord and Te Waihanga signed the Memorandum of Understanding to act as joint commissioners for the revision of NZS 3910 on 28 October 2021.

3. Appointment of Standards New Zealand

The joint commissioners appointed Standards New Zealand for the revision of NZS 3910 on 29 October 2021.

4. Next steps

Standards New Zealand will invite organisations from within a number of sector groupings identified during the scoping review to nominate a representative for the committee. The sector groupings and organisations identified represent a broad and balanced range of views of national groups with a common interest in NZS 3910. The invitation will go out in the first half of November 2021. Organisations will have 2 weeks to submit nominations.

Selecting standards committee members

Timeline and process

Further information on the timeline and project phases will be available soon.

For enquiries email us.