Contracting Nz Legislation

Contracting NZ Legislation: What You Need to Know

Contracting in New Zealand is a heavily regulated industry and it is essential for businesses to be aware of the legal requirements when entering into contracts. Understanding New Zealand legislation pertaining to contracting can help businesses to make informed decisions and avoid legal issues. In this article, we will discuss the key aspects of contracting NZ legislation and what you need to know.

Contract Formation

The New Zealand Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 (CCLA) outlines the requirements for a legally binding contract. According to the act, a contract must be in writing and signed by all parties involved. However, there are exceptions to this requirement, such as for contracts for goods under $50 or contracts made in trade between merchants. In addition, contracts can also be formed through electronic communication, such as email.

Contracts must include essential terms, which are the terms that define the rights and obligations of the parties involved. Essential terms include the subject matter of the contract, the price, and the delivery date. If any essential terms are missing, the contract may be unenforceable.

Consumer Contracts

New Zealand has specific legislation that applies to consumer contracts. The Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA) sets out rules on consumer protection, including the requirement for businesses to provide accurate information about goods and services, and the prohibition of unfair contract terms. The FTA also requires companies to provide consumers with a cooling-off period of up to five working days, during which they can cancel a contract without penalty.

Intellectual Property Rights

When businesses enter into contracts, they need to ensure that they have the rights to use any intellectual property (IP) included in the contract, such as trademarks, patents, or copyright. The New Zealand Intellectual Property Office (IPONZ) provides information and guidance on IP rights and the process for registering them.

Contract Termination

Contracts can be terminated in various ways, including through mutual agreement, expiration, or breach. Breach of contract occurs when one party fails to fulfill their obligations under the contract. The CCLA defines various types of breaches, including material breach, anticipatory breach, and repudiation. Breach of contract can result in legal action and damages.


Contracting in New Zealand is subject to various legal requirements that businesses need to be aware of. Understanding the key aspects of contract formation, consumer protection, intellectual property rights, and contract termination can help businesses to avoid legal issues and make informed decisions. It is essential to seek professional legal advice when entering into contracts to ensure compliance with NZ legislation.

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