A Northland civil contractor's attempt to secure a judgment against the Far North District Council over alleged non-payment for various works has been dismissed.

Rintoul Group appealed against a District Court's decision that stayed proceedings and referred the disputes over five contracts to arbitration after taking the view there was a clear dispute.

Rintoul was contracted by FNDC for culvert replacement on West Coast Rd, and slip repairs on Awaroa Rd, Broadwood Rd and Mangakahia Rd.

Differences emerged between both parties that led to Rintoul filing claims in the Kaikohe District Court against FNDC of $61,202 made up of retention claims and interest allegedly owed under the contracts.


FNDC did not file a statement of defence but protested jurisdiction, claiming the contracts were the subject of genuine disputes that were required to be referred to arbitration.

Judge Keith de Ridder agreed, as did Justice Simon Moore in the High Court.

After the culvert replacement, FNDC emailed Rintoul and alleged certain defects but the company sealed the road without addressing the council's concerns.

FNDC then engaged Fulton Hogan to undertake remedial work and the amount paid was $4440 more than the retentions withheld from Rintoul.

On the Awaroa/Broadwood Rd works, FNDC claimed Rintoul failed to complete work on two projects and gave notice to finish them within five working days.

Rintoul Group again takes Far North District Council to court
High Court action over declined Far North District Council contracts
Judge rules FNDC wrong to disqualify company's twin coast cycle tender
Kaikohe company takes FNDC to court in dispute over cycleway tender

Rintoul disputed the claim and served a payment claim of $36,052.

The other works concerned dispute over release of bonds held by FNDC.


Justice Moore said Rintoul could not have been in any doubt that FNDC was dissatisfied with the standard of work on West Coast Rd and requested they be rectified.

A similar pattern emerged on the Awaroa/Broadwood Rd contract, he said.

"This is not a case where the council has cynically or improperly manufactured its opposition to Rintoul's rightful claims in order to prevent Rintoul from seeking proper recourse to the courts."

Justice Moore said the contracts contained arbitration agreements and that FNDC acted properly in asserting there was a dispute.