Nzs Standard Contracts

June 27, 2022

NZS Standard Contracts: A Guide to Understanding and Using Them

The construction industry in New Zealand is governed by a set of standards and regulations that ensure safety, quality, and compliance with industry best practices. One of the key components of this framework is the use of NZS standard contracts, which provide a structure for agreements between owners, contractors, and subcontractors.

What are NZS Standard Contracts?

NZS standard contracts are a set of templates or models for construction-related agreements that cover a range of topics, from design and documentation to project management and payment. They provide a standardized format for contracts that can be used across different projects and in different parts of the industry. These contracts are developed by Standards New Zealand, a government agency that creates and maintains a wide range of standards and regulations for various industries.

Why Use NZS Standard Contracts?

Using NZS standard contracts provides a number of benefits for construction industry stakeholders. These benefits include:

1. Clarity and Consistency: NZS standard contracts use a standardized format, which means that all parties involved in a project have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions of the agreement. This helps to minimize misunderstandings and disputes.

2. Greater Efficiency: By using a standard format, NZS contracts can be prepared, reviewed, and executed more quickly and efficiently. This can save time and money for all parties involved.

3. Risk Management: NZS contracts are designed to allocate risk fairly between all parties involved in a project. This can help to minimize the risk of disputes and legal action.

4. Compliance: NZS contracts are designed to comply with industry best practices and relevant regulations. This helps to ensure that projects are carried out safely and to a high standard.

Types of NZS Standard Contracts

There are several types of NZS standard contracts that can be used in different stages of a construction project. These include:

1. NZS 3910:2013 Conditions of Contract for Building and Civil Engineering Construction: This is the most commonly used NZS contract and covers the entire construction process, from design to completion. It can be used for both building and civil engineering projects.

2. NZS 3916:2013 Conditions of Contract for Design and Construct: This contract is used when the contractor is responsible for both the design and construction of a project. It places greater responsibility on the contractor for the design and delivery of the project.

3. NZS 3917:2013 Conditions of Contract for Minor Works and Maintenance Contracts: This contract is used for smaller projects and maintenance work. It is designed to be simpler and more flexible than other NZS contracts.


In conclusion, NZS standard contracts are an essential tool for construction industry stakeholders in New Zealand. They provide a standardized format for agreements that promotes clarity, consistency, efficiency, and compliance. Understanding and using these contracts can help to minimize disputes, manage risk, and ensure the successful delivery of construction projects.

Posted in Uncategorized