From Foundations to Finish? The Continuing Duty Doctrine and Limitations
New Zealand Law Review, pp. 505-520, 2013
16 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2015 Last revised: 26 Mar 2019
Date Written: October 1, 2013
In Johnson v Watson  1 NZLR 626 the Court of Appeal commented that builders may owe a continuing duty over the course of the construction period to remedy defects. By and large, the courts have been cautious to embrace this “continuing duty” theory and have shown a reluctance to define its parameters. Since Johnson v Watson, a line of cases have held that a continuing duty on designers and contractors is “tenable” and “arguable” and therefore not a field ripe for strike-out. Yet there has been little analysis of what it means to owe a “continuing duty”, when the concept arises, and the consequences for statutory limitation periods. This article traverses the discussion to date to elicit the common principles of the theory.
Keywords: duty of care, limitation, continuing duty, longstop, construction
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