Construction contract disputes will be dealt with faster and more cost effectively under proposed amendments to the Construction Contracts Act, which were introduced in Parliament today.
Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson says the proposed changes, which include streamlining the disputes process and introducing greater accountability, are part of a package of building law reforms aimed at making improvements to the building sector’s accountability and productivity.
The Construction Contracts Act 2002 created default progress payment provisions for construction contracts, provided an adjudication process for disputes, as well as ways of recovering non-payment of construction contracts.
“A review of the Act in 2009 concluded reasonably minor amendments could give it a wider application, and many of the suggestions made in the review are contained in the amendments introduced today,” Mr Williamson says.
The proposed amendments include:
- Removing the distinction between residential and commercial construction contracts
- Broadening the definition of construction work to include design, engineering and quantity survey work
- Allowing more direct enforcement of determinations about rights and obligations
- Reducing to five days, the time a defendant has to oppose an application to have an adjudication determination entered as a judgment