Updated: Oct 24, 2021
Great News. MBIE have release 120 building related standards free online to download and use to aid improved understanding and use of these standards in building works. We have been plagued with problems we should not have due to our ignorance of how to perform to a high standard.
Freeing standards is absolutely essential as a solution to many problems plaguing the building industry. The number one issue being inefficiency, which can only be resolved with education to improve the performance of individuals. When it comes to contractual differences of opinion we have many bad practices of interpretation that requires education to eliminate. NZS3910 is a pivotal pawn in both the problems and the solutions.
Bad News. NZS3910 Standard Conditions of Contract for Civil and Building Works is still locked up, making it slow and expensive to access and improve. Freeing it from distribution and updating costs will enable industry and government to work together quickly to make fast iterative improvements allowing the next wave of reform ideas to enhance a common language and understanding of contract terms and interpretation.
The Government has seen sense and made the New Zealand Standard Residential Contract FREE to aid the residential sector. We have massive contractual term abuse problems in the commercial sector, and we need to establish direct industry control of the use, education and improvement of NZS3910 and the people who use it. Make all NZ Standards free now.
See also "NZS3910 Corruption Awards – Identifying what is wrong, and calling it out." 17 Oct 2021.
By Matthew Ensoll
Editor New Zealand Building Economist.