Contracts for Ministry-led property projects

Access contracts for use when purchasing construction works or consultancy services in Ministry-led property procurement projects.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Project Managers
  • Property Managers
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Boards
  • Proprietors

These contracts must be used by project managers working for the Ministry in all Ministry-led school property projects. 


The contracts on this page have been written to ensure that the commercial terms are appropriate for use in Ministry-led school property projects. They must be used in Ministry-led property projects without any amendments to the special provisions.

See the page below for contracts for use in school-led projects.

Contracts for school-led property projects and maintenance

Definition of terms

Role Description



The Principal to a contract is the legal entity that is entering into the contract. This will be the Ministry.


This is not the principal of a school.




The legal entity that is entering into the contract as the supplier.




Engineers are appointed by the contract’s Principal in a construction works contract to administer the running of the contract on their behalf. They:

  • act as agent to the Principal
  • provide directions to the Contractor on behalf of the Principal
  • certify money due to the Contractor.


They have a duty to act independently of the Principal and Contractor. They must be fair and impartial when making decisions and issuing certificates.


They might be a professional engineer, architect, surveyor or project manager.


An Engineer must be appointed for Major Works contracts. They are not required for Minor or Medium Works.


Construction works contracts

Contract value $5,000 to $99,999 (ex. GST and disbursements)

The Minor Works contract must be used for low-value construction projects.

Template - Minor Works Contract 2022 (Ministry-led projects) [PDF, 309 KB]

This is an example template only.

Contract value $100,000 to $999,999 (ex. GST and disbursements)

The Medium Works contract must be used for medium-value construction projects.

Template - Medium Works Contract 2022 (Ministry-led projects) [PDF, 640 KB]

This is an example template only.

Contract value $1,000,000 and above (ex. GST and disbursements)

The Major Works contract must be used for high-value construction projects.

The contract is based on the construction industry standard NZS 3910:2013 contract with Ministry Special Conditions.

Template - Major Works Contract 2022 [PDF, 927 KB]

This is an example template only.

Consultancy services contracts

Contract value up to $50,000 (ex. GST and disbursements)

Consultancy services that are valued at less than $50,000 are typically low in their complexity.

Template – Short Form Agreement of Consultant Engagement (Ministry-led projects) [PDF, 370 KB]

This is an example template only.

Contract value $50,000 and above (ex. GST and disbursements)

Consultancy services that are valued at $50,000 and above are typically of higher complexity.

Template – MOE Conditions of Contract for Consultancy Services [PDF, 339 KB]

This is an example template only.

Cost Fluctuation Provisions

The current economic climate caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant supply issues in the construction sector, and costs for international freight, raw materials and production have been impacted by lockdowns around the globe.

The Ministry’s COVID-19 variation process is no longer included in Ministry contracts. To help our main contractors and consultants in managing cost escalation impacts that could affect school construction projects, we’ve added cost fluctuation clauses in our Medium Works and Major Works Ministry-led construction contracts and Design and Construct contracts.

This change does not affect existing Ministry contracts that include COVID-19 variation provisions.

For Medium Works Ministry-led projects (contract value $100,000 to $999,999), we’ve enabled a fluctuation clause very similar to the one that exists within the main NZ3910/3916 construction contracts. You can download the applicable fluctuations calculator to help you with your computation.

Fluctuations Calculator - Medium Works Contracts [XLSX, 106 KB]

Guidance Document - Cost Fluctuation Provisions for Medium Works [PDF, 542 KB]

For Major Works Ministry-led projects (contract value $1,000,000 and above) and Design and Construct contracts, we’ve provided an alternative fluctuation clause for separate assessment of transport, plant, and storage cost (plant), and trade specific proportions of labour, materials, and plant to be applied rather than assuming a 40:60 split between labour and materials. The applicable fluctuations calculator for this can be found below.

Fluctuations Calculator - Major Works & Design and Construct Contracts [XLSX, 113 KB]

Guidance Document - Cost Fluctuation Provisions for Major Works & Design and Construct [PDF, 654 KB]

If you have questions, email

Guidelines for valuing COVID-19 project variation claims 

Since March 2020, the New Zealand construction sector has been dealing with the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Ministry of Education created a process for main contractors and consultants to recover time and/or additional costs resulting from the pandemic - this process was known as the COVID-19 variation process.

From 28 October 2022, if you are working for the Ministry under an existing contract that includes COVID-19 variation provisions you can continue to submit variation claims to the Engineer (if you are working for us under a Major Works contract or a Design & Construct contract), the Principal’s Representative (if you are working for us under a Medium Works contract) or the Delivery Manager (if you are working for us under any other form of contract) in accordance with your contract.

COVID-19 claims will be processed by the relevant Delivery Manager and their consultant team, rather than by the Ministry’s COVID-19 Variations Team, and you will no longer be required to use the COVID-19 claim form. The Ministry will continue to assess claims in accordance with the principles set out in the published Guidance, but the Guidance will no longer be updated.

This guidance is aimed at those project teams who are working with these contracts to help ensure a fair, equitable and consistent approach to the valuing of construction variation claims arising from the Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 variation process.

If you are unsure about how this guidance applies to any of your individual contracts, please seek further guidance by contacting

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