From Foundations to Finish? The Continuing Duty Doctrine and Limitations

Research output: Article


In Johnson v Watson [2003] 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-520
JournalNew Zealand Law Review
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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