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 2021 (Ministry-led projects) [PDF, 323 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 2021 (Ministry-led projects) [PDF, 840 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 2021 [PDF, 1.4 MB]

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, 905 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, 906 KB]

This is an example template only.

Guidelines for valuing COVID-19 project variation claims 

These guidelines are intended for all internal and external project leads for school property projects to ensure a fair, equitable and consistent approach to the valuing of construction variation claims arising from the Government’s regulatory response to COVID-19.

Since March 2020, the New Zealand construction sector has been dealing with the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Ministry of Education has created a process for main contractors and consultants to recover time and/or additional costs resulting from the pandemic. There are ongoing impacts and costs affecting construction projects. Material shortages and price increases that have the potential to delay and significantly increase school property project costs are becoming more prevalent. The Ministry’s COVID-19 variation process is available to support construction projects that are experiencing cost impacts relating to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

To provide confidence and certainty to the construction sector, it is important that Government agencies adopt a consistent approach. This guidance document was developed to help project teams working on Ministry projects review the legal and commercial issues associated with the pandemic. It applies to standard NZS 3910:2013 contracts and the Ministry’s Medium and Minor works variants.

There are two proforma templates – one for main contractors and one for consultants. Please make sure you are using the correct template for your claim.

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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