Richard Kettelwell

Richard  Kettelwell
Direct Line
+64 7 928 0797

Richard began his career in the construction industry whilst completing his law degree.  He was admitted to the Bar in 2001 and gained extensive experience in both NZ and the UK before returning to New Zealand and settling in Tauranga.

Today he specialises in all areas of building and construction law as well as general civil and commercial dispute resolution. Understanding the challenges facing the construction industry, Richard is well equipped to act on behalf of building professionals, developers, public bodies and property owners. He advises on construction contracts and the tendering and letting of construction projects. He also routinely acts for parties in relation to disputes arising out of construction contracts and regularly represents his clients in the High Court, District Court, Weathertight Homes Tribunal and at arbitrations and mediations.

When not in the office Richard enjoys spending time with his young family as well as clay target shooting and spot of fishing when time permits.  

Client Feedback

"What I appreciate most is Richard's ability to work with myself and my staff at a level where he comes to grips quickly with our particular industry's language and way of doing business.  He communicates the legal side of things in such a way that we grasp the situation quickly and can make appropriate decisions accordingly."
Mike O'Sullivan, Managing Director, Altex Coatings Limited

"I found Richard to be personable, always willing to go the 'extra mile', always responding promptly to requests and most importantly not shy to suggest more cost effective ways for the Council to progress matters. He is able to take a principled approach with the focus on resolution whilst being able to litigate when required."
John Verry, LLB, LLM, Med

Examples of Richard's recent work:
  • Negotiation of construction contract for a multi-million dollar Wellington hotel development. Conditions of contract NZS 3915. 
  • Development and implementation of special conditions for use by a territorial authority with NZS3910:2013, NZS3916:2013 and NZS3917:2013. 
  • Building Act 2004 regulatory advice for a Territorial Authority. 
  • Representation and advice for Territorial Authorities in MBIE Determination proceedings. 
  • Assistance with preparation of a contractor's tender documentation for a $800,000 multi unit commercial building fit-out in Auckland. 
  • Drafting a bespoke design and build construction contract for infrastructure procurement by an NZX listed corporate. 
  • Construction Contracts Act Adjudications.
  • Disputes arising under 2003 and 2009 Master Builders' Subcontract Agreements. 
  • High Court proceedings arising from subsidence caused by de-watering programme. 
  • High Court proceedings arising from variation dispute under NZS3910:2003. 
  • Tender process advice for territorial authority.

Civil Contractors NZ


Areas of Expertise

  • Building and construction
  • NZS 3910 / 3916 / 3917
  • NEC3
  • Construction Contracts Act 2002 Payment Disputes
  • Tendering and Procurement
  • Professional Negligence claims involving building professionals
  • Insurance
  • Leaky building disputes
  • Commercial disputes


  • Civil Contractors New Zealand Bay of Plenty Branch (past regional Chairman)
  • Bay of Plenty Clay Target Association
  • Equine Estate Sporting Clays

Services Richard Kettelwell provides