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INFRASTRUCTURE AND MAJOR PROJECTS
Infrastructure Wayfinder4

“Kensington Swan is involved in many high-profile projects, especially in Auckland, and has played a role in every PPP in New Zealand to date.” - Asia Pacific Legal 500

As one of New Zealand’s largest and most specialised infrastructure practices, we support both the public and private sector in responding to New Zealand’s urgent needs for infrastructure development.

Our team of experts provide a wealth of experience from a variety of different practice areas including: resource management; construction; project financing; health and safety; iwi consultation; and property.

We regularly advise on the Resource Management Act (RMA), Public Works Act (PWA), and all contract structures including Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), alliancing, design and construct (D&C) contracts, Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) and Early Contractor Involvement (ECI).

If you’re looking to invest in New Zealand’s infrastructure programme, we have a specialist team who have advised on foreign investment in infrastructure and understand the outcomes sought by both investors and New Zealanders, including the recent Overseas Investment Act.

Our experts can significantly add to your success in getting a project over the line by contributing their knowledge and experience from initial strategy and planning through to completion. You will be working with recognised specialists in their fields, which allows you access to people who live and breathe infrastructure and who are skilled in identifying the best approach to the outcomes sought or how to resolve conflicts.

ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING

As New Zealand’s economy grows it must be supported by new infrastructure such as roads, public transport, power stations and water-supply systems. Increasingly, these projects are required to be located in sensitive areas, such as coastal or urban land. Navigating the consenting process can be time-consuming, costly and uncertain; constantly changing laws and regulations make it even more complicated.

Whether you are trying to obtain planning authorisations for a large infrastructure project or for a smaller development like a residential housing project, you need the advice of someone who understands your business and the law, and is familiar with the processes and possibilities available. 

Our team of experts is familiar with all aspects of resource management and environmental law. We can guide you through the consenting process, from providing you with strategic advice in the early stages of your project to appearing for you in court if necessary. We also advise clients seeking changes to regional and district plans, and if you are in the process of buying a new business, we can help assess your environmental risks and responsibilities.

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CONSTRUCTION AND MAJOR PROJECTS

New Zealand’s construction industry is growing rapidly and is now one of the largest sectors in the New Zealand economy. Factors such as population growth, traffic congestion, and aging wastewater infrastructure are driving the demand for new housing, offices and factories, road and rail links, and water supply projects.

Construction projects are also becoming increasingly complex. Many involve multiple parties and complex procurement processes such as design-and-build and early contractor involvement (ECI) contracts.

We have New Zealand’s largest team of construction lawyers. They spend 100% of their time on construction and they have worked on many of New Zealand’s largest construction projects.

They can help you procure contracts, and advise you as the contracts are drafted to minimise your risk. They are also experts in solving construction disputes. They can help you develop a plan to resolve disputes as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

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PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS (PPPS)

We have provided significant advice on most of the PPPs undertaken in the New Zealand market since they were first used in New Zealand in 2010. Few New Zealand law firms can boast this level of experience. 

Because of our extensive experience on New Zealand’s PPPs, we intimately understand the project documents and how to best address them in the New Zealand market. 

We have advised at all levels from Special Purpose Vehicles (Puhoi to Wellsford) to Design and Construct Contractors (Transmission Gully, School and Prison PPPs) to Operators (Wiri Prison) to Facilities Maintenance (School PPPs) and Equity funders (Auckland South Corrections Facility and Transmission Gully).

Our specialised practice areas – construction and major projects, banking and finance, and commercial work closely together to successfully deliver projects.

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PROPERTY AND REAL ESTATE

If you are buying a house, negotiating a multi-million-dollar lease on a commercial building, or acquiring land for a large development project, you need help from experienced property lawyers who know what they are doing.

Businesses acquiring or disposing of property interests need input from advisers who know the industry as well as the law – advisers who can identify the many risks, and manage them in a way that is commercially appropriate, legally sound, and cost-effective. 

We have a substantial practice in the buying, selling, developing, subdividing, unit titling, financing and leasing of all types of property – especially office, industrial, retail, rural, residential and mixed-use properties. Our clients include overseas and local investors and developers, multi-national tenants, Crown agencies, shopping centre owners, and lessees of high country stations. 

Our work for central and local government agencies covers the acquisition of land interests for roading, power and other public works, related compensation issues, disposals, construction and infrastructure, large-scale development and leasing transactions, treaty settlements, and the management of Crown property portfolios. 

Our team works closely with clients to get a good understanding of their business and their present and future needs. We are supported by colleagues in other teams, such as planning, construction, infrastructure, health and safety, public law, finance, and dispute resolution. 

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Experience includes

We have advised:

  • The NZ Transport Agency on their procurement manual that governs all land transport projects in New Zealand.
  • Auckland Transport on the procurement of many of their projects including City Rail Link enabling works, Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative, and road maintenance contracts.
  • The Crown in negotiations with SkyCity for the New Zealand International Convention Centre. This included preparation of the project and licensing agreement, and advice around public law issues arising out of the project. 
  • State highway projects: NZ Transport Agency and major contractors on the major SH1 projects (including the Northern Corridor, ALPURT B2, Victoria Park Alliance, Greenlane widening, and Auckland Harbour Bridge), SH 20 (including the Waterview Connection and Causeway), SH16/18, the Waikato Expressway project, and the Wellington Urban RON. 
  • Local Roads on Auckland’s major roading network including AMETI, Wynyard Quarter, the maintenance of Auckland’s roading network, including Auckland Transport on its contracts and the Auckland Motorway Alliance. 
  • NZ Transport Agency on approvals for the Northern Corridor Improvements Project, including State highway upgrades, shared use paths and an extension of the Northern Busway.
  • Auckland Transport obtaining the designation for the Lincoln Road Corridor Improvements project.
  • Auckland Transport obtaining the resource consents for the Half Moon Bay Ferry Terminal. 
  • NZ Transport Agency on the resource consents to replace the Old Mangere Bridge, which had undisputed heritage values, with a new purpose-built walking and cycling bridge.
  • New Zealand’s toll roads and PPPs – from advising the NZ Transport Agency on ALPURT B2 (the first toll roads under the Land Transport Management Act and Project K) to being part of the team advising the successful bidder on the Transmission Gully PPP, and a major contractor on its bid for the Puhoi to Wellsford PPP.
  • Ruataniwha Water Irrigation Project on an international design and construct contractor as preferred bidder for this $450 million water irrigation Build Own Operate Transfer scheme and dam.
  • Wellington Water on the construction of a major water supply reservoir

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