Construction News: March 2021

  • Publications and reports

    31 March 2021

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MinterEllisonRuddWatts in the market
Janine Stewart discusses the promotion of women to partnership

On 29 March 2021, partner Janine Stewart joined an Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association panel discussion on progress in the industry under the 2018 Gender Equality Charter – a voluntary charter aimed at improving the retention and advancement of women in the legal profession. The panel included representatives from seven law firms and discussion focused on the work that the firms have done to increase gender equality and inclusion in senior roles over the last few years.

Sarah Sinclair joins panel at International Women’s Day 2021 webinar

On 4 March 2021, Chair and partner Sarah Sinclair participated in Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia’s (ISCA) virtual panel discussion where she shared her experiences as a woman working in infrastructure and how to challenge the norms in the sector. Sarah was joined by Evelyn Storey (Aurecon), Steve Killeen (Downer) and Ainsley Simpson (ISCA).

Talking Project Pipelines with Kāinga Ora and Piritahi

On 11 March 2021, property partners Andrew Monteith and Holly Hill moderated a webinar session with Kāinga Ora’s Mark Fraser (Deputy Chief Executive, Urban Development Delivery) and Andrea Hamilton (Owner Interface Manager (Piritahi Alliance)). The session was organised by the Property Council and focused on Kāinga Ora and Piritahi’s project pipeline.

Articles / News Alerts
What sets jurisdiction in construction disputes?

Partner Janine Stewart and solicitor Mariam Baho recently published an article in ADLS that reviews how an adjudicator’s jurisdiction is set under the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA) – an issue which has long vexed parties to construction disputes, not least the adjudicators themselves. The article discusses the impact of the recent decision of Alaska Construction + Interiors Auckland Limited v Lahatte & Anor [2020] NZHC 1056 which has further muddied the waters by finding that an adjudication notice may be superseded by the adjudication claim, a position that is contrary to previous authority and current industry practice.

Read the article here

Class Actions – are we in or out?  

Senior associate Christine Gordon and law clerk Ben Stewart examine how a class of litigants is established in a class action dispute, specifically the distinction between whether a class action is “opt-in” or “opt-out” and the commercial implications of each approach that commercial parties, including manufacturers, should be aware of. The recent Supreme Court decision in Southern Response v Ross [2020] NZSC 126 confirmed that a class action under the current High Court Rules would, in some cases, be better served by adopting an opt-out approach, a decision which will likely have significant commercial consequences, including the continued rise of consumer class actions. New Zealand does not have a detailed framework that governs the procedural aspects of a class action but the issue is currently being examined by the New Zealand Law Commission. This article will be published in the upcoming April edition of the NZLJ.

Read the article here

Modular homes and faster construction

On 19 March 2021, our property team published a news alert on a recent Select Committee Report on the Building (Building Products and Methods, Modular Components, and Other Matters) Amendment Bill. This report highlights the Government’s focus on facilitating the use of non-traditional construction methods to safely and efficiently speed up residential development. Our experts discuss what the Bill means for the development of modular homes in New Zealand.

Read the article here

Market Activity
New Zealanders asked to help build a better Aotearoa

On 19 March 2021, Te Waihanga – the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission launched an online engagement tool, Aotearoa 2050, seeking public feedback on New Zealand’s infrastructure issues, solutions and future priorities. Aotearoa 2050 is open to everyone in New Zealand and feedback will be considered as part of Te Waihanga’s development of a 30-year strategy for infrastructure. MinterEllisonRudd Watts Chair and partner, Sarah Sinclair, is on the board of Te Waihanga.

Learn more about Aotearoa 2050 here and submit your feedback here

Release of Auckland’s $31 billion transport plan

$31 billion has been budgeted for Auckland transport over the next 10 years, an extra $3 billion from the 2018 plan. The Auckland Transport Plan includes funding for a range of projects already underway, including the $4.4 billion City Rail Link, $1.4 billion Eastern Busway and $830 million Puhoi to Warkworth highway. Among other things, the Plan aims to reduce Auckland’s transport omissions through increased investment in public transport projects, encouraging walking and cycling, and also introduces half-price public transport for Aucklanders with community services cards effective from July 2022.

Read the full article here

Australian firm awarded delivery of Christchurch’s multi-use arena

Australian firm BESIX Westpac has been awarded the tender to deliver Christchurch’s $473 million multi-use arena. The firm will lead a consortium of companies called Kōtui to deliver the arena, which includes Southbase Construction, Fulton Hogan, local seismic engineering specialists Lewis Bradford, Christchurch architects Warren and Mahoney, and global stadium design experts Populous and Mott MacDonald. The arena is expected to open at the end of 2024.

Read the full article here and see the current project timeline here

Planning underway for film studio in the South Island

A resource consent application has been submitted to build a multimillion-dollar film studio at the former Templeton Hospital site in Christchurch. The studio is estimated to cost around $100 million and could eventually produce around 2,000 jobs. It is anticipated that the studio will inject millions into the Canterbury economy with a recent report estimating that film production facilities could bring between $50 – $200 million of revenue to the region annually.

Read the full article here

Christchurch heritage buildings to be repaired using Christchurch ratepayer funds

Christchurch City Council has agreed to grant a $1.2 million loan to the Christchurch Heritage Trust to enable it to complete work on Shand’s building and Trinity Church in Christchurch. The bulk of the loan ($850,000) is intended to come from the Historic Buildings Fund which was established in the 1970s to allow the Council to purchase heritage buildings at risk of demolition.

Read the full article here

New $2 million playground to be built in Timaru

Concept plans have been unveiled for a new $2 million playground to be built at Caroline Bay, Timaru. The playground is intended to reflect Caroline Bay’s maritime heritage, including the Benvenue shipwreck, with a 10-metre-long shipwreck made of timber and fibreglass to form a central part of the design. The playground will also include a parkour section with vertical climbing walls and an obstacle course. The CPlay committee overseeing the playground, is in the process of raising funds for the project, including running a campaign to raise an initial $150,000 from the public to ensure that the project can go ahead.

Read the full article here

Work re-starts on new Kaikoura hotel

After stalling in April 2020 due to Covid-19 and the impact on tourism, work has now resumed on the construction of the Sudima Hotel in Kaikoura. The waterfront hotel will have 120 rooms and is expected to provide about 60 jobs for local staff. It is expected to open later this year.

Read the full article here

Council plans to spend $316 million over the next decade on Christchurch’s Ōtākaro Avon River corridor

Christchurch City Council has allocated $316 million in its draft 10-year budget to transform 602-hectares of red zone land into the “jewel in Christchurch’s crown”. The Council has said this will be spent on city to sea pathway, ecological restoration, cultural and recreational facilities, flood protection and stormwater management and the Pages Road bridge. Another $21 million has been allocated to the red zone land in Brooklands, Port Hills and Southshore.

Read the full article here