The NZCIC Design Guidelines have been in existence for twenty years and are well supported by the construction industry. The Guidelines are an invaluable industry tool – for clients/owners, architects and designers, specialist professional services, builders, and subcontractors.

These Guidelines have been prepared by the New Zealand Construction Industry Council and serve the following purpose:

• To clearly define and communicate to all parties involved in a project.

• Responsibilities each party has through all project stages .

• The interactions and coordination required between all parties.

The Guidelines underwent a recent minor revision in late 2022 to reflect the strategic imperatives of both NZCIC and the government on the topic of sustainability in construction. The last major revision of the Guidelines was undertaken in 2016.

The Guidelines have influenced positive change in the sector and, through generous industry support of knowledge and expertise, they have remained current.

The new digital process

The 2023 review sees the Guidelines hosted on a digital platform. This will offer users increased functionality, and ease of use. The new digital home for the NZCIC Guidelines Responsibilities Schedule will be the industry owned Masterspec, a Construction Information Limited (CIL) product with a subscriber base of 1,950 construction practitioners.

Formerly a static PDF document called the CIC Guidelines, the new NZCIC Guidelines Responsibilities Schedule has been transformed into a dynamic online tool, accessible at no cost to users, specifically tailored for the New Zealand construction industry. This cloud-based platform fosters seamless real-time collaboration among multiple parties, simplifying the way construction projects are managed and executed.

Existing Masterspec users will have access to the Guidelines. If you are not a Masterspec user, you can access the Guidelines by creating a free account from this page. There is no charge for using the Guidelines and you do not need to become a subscriber of Masterspec.

New activities

The 2023 review further develops existing activities such as Health and Safety and Building Information Modelling and introduces new areas including Sustainability and Māori Design Processes. The 2023 review has been undertaken in partnership with Ngā Aho, the national collective of Māori design professionals.

  • This document should be refined by the user for the specific needs of their project. 
  • NZCIC may change, delete, add to, or otherwise amend the information contained on this website without notice. 
  • Information in this set of guidelines should not be considered legal advice. Users should obtain independent legal advice before use. 
  • NZCIC does not accept any liability for any loss or damage arising from the use of these guidelines. 
  • While the NZCIC has taken all reasonable care in placing the correct information in the guidelines, it cannot be liable for any inaccuracy, error, omission, or any other kind of inadequacy, deficiency, or flaw in, or in relation to the information contained in these guidelines. 
  • NZCIC is not responsible for the content of other web sites linked to or referenced from this web site. NZCIC neither endorses the information, content, presentation, or accuracy of such other web sites, nor makes any warranty, express or implied, regarding these other web sites.
  • Should you have any questions relating to the use of the guidelines please refer to the document preamble or contact NZCIC directly.

Work on the Guidelines update has been undertaken on a purely pro-bono basis by both experienced construction professionals and emerging construction experts, who collectively provided over one thousand volunteer hours across the two-year project cycle. Special thanks go to the following groups of people.

Design Guidelines Working Group
Alex Hampshire (Co-Chair)
Anthony Gaffney (Co-Chair)
Melanie Tristram
Andy Staples
Chris Flynn
Keith Johnstone
Dave Hunter
Mark Fairburn
Anthony Calderone
Charles Roos
David Mahon
Debbie Tikao
Gordon Roy
Russell McMullan

Design Guidelines Leadership Group
Richard Goldie (Co-Chair)
Whare Timu (Co-Chair)
Matt Jones
Ewan Brown
Paul O’Brien
Alison Murray
Teena Hale-Pennington
Jon Williams

Construction Sector Accord
The Construction Sector Accord provided much needed funding for the 2023 digitisation of the Guidelines. This government-construction sector collaboration viewed the Guidelines update as an example of a key partnership with the industry that will deliver an outcome of strengthened system performance, improved productivity, and project outcomes.

Masterspec, co-owned by Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects and the Registered Master Builders Association, has supported the development and digitisation of the Guidelines and provided the platform where they will reside.

How to use the guidelines
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