By Catherine Green.


Do you use Xero to send out your invoices? Make sure they are compliant payment claims under the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (Act).

The default payment regime under the Act is an efficient and effective way of getting your invoices paid. However, we still see contractors coming unstuck when they seek to rely on this regime because their payment claims are not compliant with the requirements of the Act.

Under section 20 of the Act, a payee (the party to a construction contract who is entitled to a progress payment) is entitled to serve payment claims on the payer (the party to a construction contract who is liable for that payment) for payments, including any single or final payment under the contract. To benefit from the default payment entitlements under the Act, a payee must first serve a valid payment claim on the payer. A valid payment claim must comply with the following mandatory requirements:

  • be in writing;
  • contain sufficient details to identify the construction contract to which the payment relates;
  • identify the construction work and the relevant period to which the payment relates;
  • state a claimed amount and the due date for payment;
  • indicate the manner in which the payee calculated the claimed amount; and
  • state that it is made under the Act.

It must also include the ‘Important Notice’ found at Schedule 1 of the Construction Contracts Regulations 2003.

To make sure you’re compliant you are welcome to use the free templates on the Building Disputes Tribunal website. You can find these in the Adjudication Guides and Resources Section. Just have a look at the Forms and Precedents. You can also find template payment schedules, notice of adjudication, a sample adjudication claim, and notices to suspend works. We update these documents regularly so if you want to be sure that you are in compliance with the latest requirements, be sure to check back to see the latest forms.

Lately we have also received a number of enquiries from contractors who are using Xero to issue their invoices and who aren’t sure how they can comply with the requirement to provide the ‘Important Notice’.

The good news is it’s pretty easy. You can add any documents as attachments to your invoice (payment claim) so you can simply include the ‘Important Notice’ as an attachment in Xero. Have a look at this easy to follow video from Xero on including files with online invoices to see how to do it.

Finally, don’t forget the other requirements under section 20 of the Act. To be a valid payment claim you need to tick all the boxes!


Written by Richard Pidgeon After multiple rounds of consultation, feedback and drafting, Standards New Zealand released a revised NZS 3910, being the biggest revision since 1987 to the Conditions of contract for building and civil engineering construction. BACKGROUND...

Obstructed view review

Written by Maria Cole Introduction In Wynyard Quarter Residents Association Incorporated v Auckland Council and Orams Group Limited,[1] a group of apartment owners filed judicial review proceedings seeking to overturn an Auckland Council decision to grant resource...

The losing streak is over: English rugby wins… right to bring claim against contractor

Written by Alexander Lyall Nearly 10 years on, English rugby finally has a victory related to the 2015 Rugby World Cup. In FM Conway Ltd v Rugby Football Union,[1] a company contracted by the English Rugby Football Union (the RFU) for maintenance works at Twickenham...

Keep calm and carry on: English Court of Appeal overturns controversial High Court ruling and clarifies guiding principles in serial adjudications

By Kate Holland The English High Court caused concern earlier this year when it held that an adjudicator had breached natural justice by holding himself bound by a previous adjudicator’s findings. Now, in Sudlows Ltd v Global Switch Estates 1 Limited,[1] the Court of...

Moving home

Written by Richard Pidgeon A family became dissatisfied with a house removal firm who had shifted their home from Remuera to Katikati. In Stott v Uplifting Homes Ltd [2023] NZHC 1514, the High Court determined the level of compensation after the contract was...

Big loss for insurer in legal battle with Napier Council over leaky building clause

Written by Sam Dorne In a recent case, the Supreme Court of New Zealand ruled in favour of the Napier City Council in an insurance claim involving building defects including weathertightness or “leaky building” issues, in what is seen as a return to the status quo...

BuildLaw Issue 51

September 2023Download PDF   CONTENTS BuildLaw in Brief Keep calm and carry on Mainzeal saga ends in the Supreme Court New Zealand: Insurance under Scrutiny Obstructed view review Case in Brief: Esk Valley marae injunction Res judicata and declarations relating...

Two conditional Certificates do not one final make

By Richard Pidgeon The New South Wales Supreme Court in Parkview Constructions Pty Limited v Futuroscop Enterprises Pty Limited [2023] NSWSC 178 provides insight into the date of practical completion under an AS 4902-2000 contract. Background Parkview Constructions...

Take a rain cheque – Full Federal Court of Australia reads common sense into insurance policy

By Alexander Lyall A decision by the Full Federal Court of Australia has provided clarification about the wording of an insurance policy for a construction project. In Acciona Infrastructure Australia Pty Ltd v Zurich Australian Insurance Limited [2023] FCAFC 47,[1] ...

Case update: English Court of Appeal confirms ‘useless’ ADR procedure too uncertain to enforce

By Kate Holland In our December 2022 issue of BuildLaw, we reported on a case in the English High Court[1] about an unusual alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedure in a construction contract that was held to be too uncertain to be an enforceable condition...
Skip to content