8.30AM Registration & Coffee
9.00AM Welcome from the Chair
John Green, Arbitrator, Adjudicator, Mediator & Director, Building Disputes Tribunal
9.10AM Building confidence: The construction sector in the New Zealand economy

Recent developments have buffeted the construction sector, and many challenges remain. This session will set the scene by analyzing the current state of construction in New Zealand, discussing key factors that are impacting the sector and the wider economy.

Christina Leung, Principal Economist, NZIER
9.50AM Managing insolvency risk in the construction industry

The construction sector's financial stability has been heavily impacted by Covid-19, not only due to the lockdown period but also by subsequent adjustments required to operating practices and resulting changes in the type and volume of work in the sector pipeline.  Existing proactive and positive initiatives being led by both contractors and other industry stakeholders seeking to improve the performance and stability of the sector continued to be a focus with additional initiatives implemented in direct response to Covid-19.  In this session Lara and Elliot will provide an overview of how sector specific, and wider Government, initiatives have impacted financial viability of construction businesses and provide practical tips and best practice measures those working in the sector can take to manage the risk and improve outcomes, including in the unfortunate event of financial issues impacting a project.

Lara Bennett, Executive Director, PwC and Elliot Davis, Director, PwC
10.55AM Procurement – the means to building a more productive, resilient and wellbeing-focused construction industry?

The new government procurement rules, which came into effect in Oct 19, moved away from a low-cost to a broader-outcomes model, with a focus on building resilience within the industry and being more transparent in contractor risk management. As we continue on the path to recovery what impact has COVID-19 had on procurement practices and has there been a fairer risk allocation in construction contracts? Julien Leys will give an overview of the new rules and set the scene for a discussion that will include challenges and opportunities; best practice; the effect on pricing, profit and wellbeing.

Julien Leys, Executive Director, Construction Strategy Group & Chief Executive, New Zealand Building Industry Federation
Sam Jack, General Counsel – New Zealand, Fulton Hogan
Katrina van Houtte, Special Counsel, Kensington Swan
Rebecca Robertshawe, Director, EIS Legal, Ministry of Education
David Kelly, Chief Executive, Registered Master Builders Association
11.55AM Covering all your bases - risk and insurance

Disruptions to construction including insolvencies, delays due to weather events, or accidents such as the NZICC roof fire, mean that understanding your insurance and liability position is now more important than ever. This session will highlight some of the key risks and discuss policy trends in construction insurance.

Antony Holden, Partner and Julia Whitehead, Senior Associate, Wotton + Kearney
1.20PM Fine tuning the retentions regime

The government has signalled there will be a review of the retentions regime in the near future. This session will look at the intent of the scheme; what has and hasn’t worked; and discuss best practice steps sub-contractors can take to better protect their retention money.

Jo-Anne Knight, Partner, Simpson Grierson
2.00PM Building Act Reform – phase one

Early in 2020 the Government introduced a new Bill into Parliament with the proposed legislative changes to the Building Act needed to implement its phase one reforms which cover modern methods of construction, building product information and certification, building levies offences and penalties. John Gardiner will outline the changes and what they could mean in practice for the industry

John Gardiner, Director, Building Confidence Ltd
3.00PM Tiny houses and when is a vehicle not a vehicle? 

As the tiny house movement continues to gain momentum, the question of consenting and interpretation under the Building Act continues to raise questions. In this session Judith Cheyne will discuss:

  • What tiny houses are and the rules around them
  • How they are currently being treated by councils
  • When a vehicle is not a vehicle
Frana Divich, Partner, Heaney & Partners
3.40PM Case Law update

What are the recent decisions you need to know about and what do they mean in practice? An update on recent construction case law including Honey Bees (on liquidated damages) and other recent developments and trends.

Michael Taylor, Senior Associate, Russell McVeagh
4.15PM Closing remarks from the chair
4.20PM Conference close
Click here to view COVID-19 Information for attendees, speakers or sponsors

Date & Location

Auckland: 19 November 2020, Cordis Hotel

Conference attendance
earns 6 CPD hours


$695 + GST


$695 + GST


$595 + GST
*each workshop


For any event enquiries please email