Sector consultation on proposed revision to NZS 3910:2013 – scope definition

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Standards New Zealand has been commissioned by the New Zealand Construction Industry Council (NZCIC), with the support of government agencies, to develop a scope for revising NZS 3910:2013 Conditions of contract for buildings and civil engineering construction.

We invited representatives of various organisations that use NZS 3910 to a preliminary scoping workshop in Wellington on 23 November 2020, to consider the potential scope of a revision. We are now undertaking sector wide consultation and seek your input so that any revision to NZS 3910 will be widely accepted and fit for purpose.

This survey seeks your views as to whether NZS 3910 should be revised and, if so, the objectives and scope of such revision. It should take about 15 minutes to answer. The survey link is below and closes 14 February 2021.

NZS 3910 sector consultation survey

This consultation is seeking only high level feedback. There will be an opportunity in 2021 to make further submissions and recommend specific changes to NZS 3910.

Please feel free to share this email with any contacts who may have an interest in NZS 3910, or the construction industry in general.


NZS 3910 is a widely accepted model contract that is used as the foundation for the vast majority of contracts in the vertical and horizontal construction sectors in New Zealand. It is intended to comply with New Zealand legislative and regulatory requirements.

However, NZS 3910 has not kept pace with recent legislative changes affecting the sector. This, together with a trend towards transferring greater risk to contractors (based on a perception by principals that NZS 3910 does not sufficiently protect their interests), has resulted in the proliferation of special conditions in contract documents.

No model contract can be expected to cover all circumstances, so there will always be a need for special conditions, but contracts based on NZS 3910 should still be easily understood and reflect fair risk allocation between Contractor and Principal.

Standards New Zealand acknowledges a widespread perception that the process for amending a standard can be slow and cumbersome and therefore unsuitable for the ongoing updating of NZS 3910. We are committed to working with the sector to ensure that any revision will support improvements in productivity and in establishing and administering NZS 3910 (and, if required, other standards in the NZS 391x suite), such as through a ‘smart contract’ approach, which can be more regularly and quickly updated.

With a clear mandate, resources and commitment from the sector this is achievable without compromising the rigorous approach - together with sector input and consensus - that underlies all Standards NZ publications.

Next steps

Thank you for taking the time to respond to this survey. Your input is important to ensure that the revision to NZS 3910 will be widely accepted and fit for purpose.

If you provide your email address in the survey you will receive the results of the feedback. All responses are confidential, and will not be attributed to any individual. The outcome of this survey will be published on our website.

Published in building.