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Following a committee meeting in early March 2022, the Chair's report below provides further detail on achievements so far and next steps:

Update on the revision of NZS 3910 [PDF, 125 KB]

For the current phase and next steps in the project see the timeline and process.

NZS 3910 update - Committee selection

Standards New Zealand is pleased to announce that the Standards Approval Board has approved 25 committee members including the chair, for the revision of NZS 3910:2013 Conditions of contract for building and civil engineering construction.

We had an overwhelming response of high calibre nominees to the request for nominations. Unfortunately, not all nominees could be selected due to the limited size of the committee.

Please find below the organisations that are represented in the P3910 committee:

  • Association of Consulting and Engineering New Zealand & Engineering New Zealand
  • Arbitrators and Mediators Association of New Zealand
  • Auckland Council
  • Civil Contractors New Zealand
  • Institute of Public Works Engineers of Australasia
  • Kainga Ora
  • KiwiRail
  • Taituarā – Local Government Professional Aotearoa
  • Ministry of Education
  • New Zealand Government Procurement (MBIE - NZGP)
  • New Zealand Construction Industry Council
  • New Zealand Infrastructure Commission (Te Waihanga)
  • New Zealand Institute of Architects
  • New Zealand Institute of Building
  • New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors
  • Property Council New Zealand
  • Registered Master Builders
  • Society of Construction Law
  • Specialist Trade Contractors Federation
  • Universities New Zealand
  • Waka Kotahi

Standards New Zealand, the chair and the committee is committed to developing a robust national standard that is fit for purpose for all the sectors involved.

The kick-off meeting will be held at the end of February.

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

With the committee now formed, representatives will meet and discuss the requirements identified in the scoping document.

Now into development phase two of the timeline below, this is where the first draft will start to take form and is a substantial phase of the revision project.

Make sure you sign up to Keep Me Up To Date for this standard or the building and construction sector in order to be notified when public consultation is available.

Timeline and process

1. Initiation phase - November 2021 to February 2022

  • Standards New Zealand – Establish committee and identify chair
  • Standards Approval Board – Approval of the committee and chair

2. Development phase - February 2022 to January 2023

The committee:

  • develops an interim standard (February to August 2022) while simultaneously
  • drafting the full revision of NZS 3910 (February 2022 to January 2023).

During this phase the committee:

  • develops NZS 3910 (interim) by:
    • discussing and drafting new content
    • voting (balloting process)
    • preparing NZS 3910 (interim) for approval by the National Manager Standards New Zealand (SNZ)
    • publishing NZS 3910 (interim) on Standards New Zealand’s website
  • drafts a full revision of NZS 3910 for public consultation.

3. Public consultation phase - February 2023 to May 2023

  • NZS 3910 (full revision) – Released for public consultation
  • Committee meets to review comments received during the public consultation period

4. Approvals, including the ballot phase - June 2023

  • Balloting process: the committee votes on the final draft
  • Preparing NZS 3910 for Standards Board approval

5. Publication and project closure phase - July 2023

  • Finalising NZS 3910:202X
  • Publishing NZS 3910:202X on Standards New Zealand website
  • Closing project