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NZS3910:2023 Contract Essentials & Dispute Procedures

NZS3910 has been recently updated and anyone who is involved with contract management in the construction sector, or whose daily work is governed by the laws and regulations of the construction and property industry, needs to be aware of the important changes included within NZS3910:2023. Attend this critical two-day training course to learn about the key changes, understand how they will impact the industry and explore how to use the form in practice within your business.

NZS3910 “The industry standard form of contract for building and civil engineering” is the primary document used as the foundation for many New Zealand contracts in the building and construction industry.  In 2023 NZS3910, was revised to include several provisions to make it more user friendly, clearer as to the roles of different parties, including the splitting of the roles of Contract Administrator and Independent Certifier and the introduction of plainer wording. It is hoped that these changes will assist with the commercial control of projects, which will in turn reduce the number of costly disputes. It is essential that industry gets up to speed with the new form as the number of disputes under the 2013 form is at its highest, given the strains on the industry at present. 

This course will run through the essential changes to NZS3910 and provide advice and legal interpretation of the role of independent certifier, early warnings, variation pricing and other major changes in the document, so that all stakeholders are equipped to understand their contractual obligations, take control, and avoid disputes. It will also cover the impact of the CCA (Retentions Money) Amendment Act 2023 on Construction Contracts, and good commercial practice guidance.  

As New Zealand has entered a period of significant construction constraints, making it harder for everyone in the industry to navigate, it is important that professionals, principals and contractors alike understand the effect of the number of changes in respect of the new form. Understanding these will assist the parties to a contract deliver a project on time and on budget. 

This course will teach you all about NZS3910:2023, including how it works in a practical sense. You will learn about the different stakeholders and each of their obligations including how to handle claims and dispute resolution procedures. As well as learning about new updates to NZS3910:2023, you will learn about other legislation which effects practical implementation of this standard including case law.

Key learning outcomes

  • Understanding and implementing the various changes made in 2023 which affect many aspects of NZS3910 
  • Examining NZS3910:2023 including its benefits and pitfalls 
  • Understanding the learnings from the previous form   
  • How does NZS3910:2023 hope to influence future dispute resolutions?  
  • Undertaking a clause-by-clause guide to the changes 
  • Exploring The role of the Independent Certifier and Contract Administrator  
  • Outlining specific obligations under NZ3910:2023 contracts 
  • How NZS3910:2023 works in practice including tendering and variations to contracts 
  • How to handle NZS3910:2023 claims 
  • Understanding the full dispute resolution process for NZS3910:2023 contracts, including your legal requirements and options 
  • How to draft special conditions, case law and other related legislation which effects NZS3910:2023 
  • Comparing NZS3910:2023 with other contracting standards

Who should attend

This course will benefit anyone who is involved with contract management in the construction industry or whose daily work is governed by the laws and regulations of the construction industry including; 

  • Contract Managers 
  • Construction Managers
  • Project Managers
  • Builders
  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Quantity surveyors
  • Contractors
  • Site Managers
  • Private Owners & Developers
  • In-house legal teams
  • Government Agencies and Public Owners
  • Engineering and construction dispute panel members

Understanding NZS3910:2023

  • Understanding the purpose and potential impact of the changes made under NZS3910:2023 
  • Understanding the learnings from the previous form 
  • When is it useful to use NZS3910:2023 for your contract? 
  • The standard NZS3910 contract 
  • Multi-disciplinary contracts 
  • Benefits of NZS3910: clarity, simplicity, flexibility, and fairness 
  • Comparing NZS3910 with other contracting standards


Obligations from NZS3910:2023

  • Obligations in respect of the Construction Programme  
  • Obligations with respect to Early Warnings regarding cost and time  
  • Obligations in respect of design obligations, clarification of tender assumptions and variations  
  • Obligations for payment claims and payment schedules, retentions and final account  
  • Obligations in respect of extensions of time and dispute processes under the contract 
  • General obligations 
  • Risk allocation between stakeholders 
  • Timeliness 
  • Insurance requirements and options 
  • Performance bonds: contractor’s and principal’s 
  • Payment times and terms 
  • Obligations of the subcontractor with a NZS3910:2023 head contract 
  • Completing work to match the plans and certificates of completion 
  • Defects liability and guarantees



  • Clients, contractors, and engineers 
  • Roles, rights and responsibilities for each stakeholder 
  • Fair treatment for all stakeholders


NZ3910:2023 in practice

  • How NZS3910:2023 works in practice including tendering and variations to contracts 
  • NZS3910:2023 as part of the tendering process 
  • The role of the Independent Certifier and Contract Administrator 
  • Making changes to the standard form of contract: costs involved, benefits and disadvantages 
  • Variations to contracts: timing, pricing, work to be done 
  • Early Warnings regarding cost and time 
  • Understanding Extensions of Time (EOT): when contractors are fairly allowed to request an EOT 
  • Valuing variations: determining pricing changes in overheads, day rates and profits from work variations 
  • Late or early completion: obligations, bonuses and liquidated damages


Avoiding and handling claims

  • How to handle NZS3910:2023 claims 
  • Techniques for working collaboratively 
  • Meeting with required objectives 
  • What users can claim for e.g. time, defects, payment discrepancies 
  • Determining who is at fault


Dispute Resolution

  • How does NZS3910:2023 hope to influence future dispute resolutions 
  • Understanding the full dispute resolution process for NZS3910:2023 contracts, including your legal requirements and options 
  • How to draft special conditions 
  • Legal requirements 
  • Standard procedures 
  • Facilitation and early negotiation stages of a dispute 
  • Mediation options and approaches 
  • Engaging a third party dispute resolution expert 
  • Adjudication under NZS3910:2023 
  • Serving notices and arbitration: legal requirements under NZS3910:2023 
  • Time limits for steps in the dispute process


NZS3910:2023’s relationship to other important construction legislation

  • Construction Contracts Act and statutory procedures 
  • Arbitration Act 1996 
  • Changes in other legislation and how it effects the implementation of NZS3910:2023


Special conditions and case law

  • Special conditions commonly being implemented
  • Supporting case laws for interpreting NZS3910:2023

Raine Selles

Facilitator - Construction

Raine is dual qualified in Law and Quantity Surveying, holding a Master’s Degree in Construction Law and Arbitration from Kings College London, is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, FQSi, FFAVE, MCIArb., MNZIOB, FNZACE, FFAVE and Society of Construction Law. She has more than 30 years of global experience within the construction industry in both project/commercial management and dispute resolution. Raine is also a member of the Construction Strategy group.

She has managed several major construction and civil engineer projects, including high rise buildings, schools, housing developments, shopping centres, airports, processing plants, railways and road schemes as well as having been engaged by both Contractors and Employers to troubleshoot delayed projects and bring them back within programme and budget.

Raine has lectured internationally on most forms of Contract including NEC and FIDIC and regularly lectures on NZ domestic contracts including NZS3910:2013, NZS3915:2005 and NZIA Form. Her experience includes the production of contract documents, procurement, management and delivery of Major Construction Projects, as well as the production, negotiation and settlement of contractual claims, drafting adjudication claims and defence and pleadings in respect of arbitration and legal proceedings.

She has been involved with more than 500 disputes worldwide and more than 400 disputes since establishing her Practice in New Zealand and whilst most disputes are successfully negotiated, she has been involved with a number of successful mediations, adjudications, arbitrations and High Court action. Raine understands the importance of getting contractual arrangements correct at the outset to avoid costly disputes as well as the importance of maintaining good relationships with all the stakeholders for the benefit of the project.

Register for this Event

Super Saver Price $2399 + GST (ends 21 August)