Construction Contracts Act – Handbook

CCA Handbook Cover ImageThe CCA Handbook is a comprehensive overview of the Construction Contracts Act, as amended by the Construction Contracts Amendment Act 2015, covering:

  • The Construction Contracts Act and how it works
  • The changes to the Act
  • The payments process
  • Adjudication – for adjudicators and for parties to disputes
  • Enforcing overdue payments
  • A full copy of the amended Act and Regulations
  • Model forms

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Why Do I need it?

Changes to the Construction Contracts Act (CCA) 2002 affected all construction contracts from 1 December 2015.


The changes affect everyone involved in construction contracts – Quantity Surveyors, Business Owners, Project Managers, Consultants, Builders, Subcontractors, Suppliers, Lawyers, Adjudicators, Architects, Engineers, and Accountants

Key changes to the Act

From 1 December 2015:

  • New requirements for payment claims and payment schedules
  • Removed distinction between residential and commercial contracts
  • Determinations about parties’ rights and obligations enforceable
  • Changes to the adjudication process
  • Tighten time limits for enforcing adjudicators’ determinations

From 1 September 2016:

  • Extending the Act to industry professionals

From 31 March 2017:

  • New retention regime (from 31 March 2017)

All retention money on commercial construction contracts entered into or renewed from 31 March 2017 onwards must now be held on trust. The regime does not apply to contracts with homeowners.

Under the retention regime a payer who is entitled by a contract to withhold retention money holds that money on trust.  The regime sets out the provisions for holding and releasing the money, and provides consequences for inappropriate management of retentions.

This changes the way payers must account for, protect and release the retention money they withhold. Significant changes to accounting and reporting systems for payers to ensure that they comply with their statutory duty as trustee. The trust obligation can only be avoided by providing an approved financial instrument such as a retention bond as surety for retention money withheld.

Further details (not included in CCA Handbook)

Significant changes to the retention regime were made under the Regulatory Systems (Commercial Matters) Amendment Bill 2016, which was passed on 22 March 2017. Unfortunately CCA Handbook was published in May 2016, well before those amendments, and does not cover the latest changes.

Final details of the retention regime are detailed in the form of industry bulletins prepared by Peter Degerholm for the NZ institute of Quantity Surveyors, Registered Master Builders and the Specialist Trade Contractors Federation.

Please download Retention Bulletin No 1 initially published on 24 March 2017, and the October 2017 update Retention Bulletin No 2.

For further information download the webinar presentation delivered to the NZ Institute of Quantity Surveyors Inc. on 16 September 2017.

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