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Special Conditions provide interim update to NZS 3910 Conditions of Contract

We’re 10 months into the revision of NZS 3910:2013 – Conditions of contract for building and civil engineering construction and this project is proving to be a hot topic of interest. A new Special Conditions publication will help bridge the gap until publication of the revised standard in 2023.

Two people on a building site checking plans for a large timber construction project

Checking plans for a large timber construction project

The NZS 3910 underpins the majority of construction contracts in New Zealand. Twenty-five industry representatives from across the construction industry have attended seven committee meetings so far, addressing problems or areas for improvement identified in the current NZS 3910. The representatives have addressed the issues in detail through their working groups, to enable discussion within the committee meetings.

Interim standard changed to Special Conditions

The scope of the committee was to draft an NZS 3910 interim standard to address more pressing issues, in parallel with the full review. The interim standard was due to be released in September, however the P3910 Review Committee, in consultation with the Commissioners (the Accord and Te Waihanga) and Standards New Zealand, recommended instead the publication of ‘Special Conditions’.

What are Special Conditions?

It was agreed that out of the four original topics to be covered in the interim standard (collaboration, pandemic clause, liability caps and legislative changes), only “legislative changes” was truly non-controversial (not requiring public consultation). An interim standard that dealt solely with legislative change was not considered value for money or worth the considerable effort to publish, especially given the full review is due to be issued in 2023. Therefore, the committee endorsed the publication of the P3910 recommended Special Conditions, rather than a change to the standard.

These Special Conditions are freely available to download from Standards New Zealand and may be incorporated into Schedule 2: Special Conditions of Contract – Other Conditions of Contract on new contracts prior to the publication of the new edition of NZS 3910, which is currently scheduled for the latter part of 2023.

NZS 3910:2013 Recommended Special Conditions(external link)

You can keep updated on the progress on the revision of NZS 3910 via the dedicated page, which contains the latest Chair’s update.

Revision of NZS 3910 project