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About

 

About Greenwood Roche

Two pivotal areas define the way we’ve shaped our firm to deliver more to our clients:
  • Clearly defined specialist areas, each with a significant depth of focused, legal expertise.
  • The acknowledgement of a trusted place at a client’s table, where we deliver the high levels of care, rigour and performance our clients expect of themselves.

We don’t stand apart. When briefed by a client we become an embedded part of the team. We engage our depth of knowledge and commercial acumen to swiftly identify what’s required from the outset – and set about delivering it. It’s not a revelatory approach, but it is refreshing, competitive and deeply efficient – and enjoyable.

It has earned us a market reputation as a leader in our areas of expertise where we have established:
  • A prominent position on the “All of Government” external legal services panel.

  • A substantial public and private sector client base.

  • Regular appointments to nationally significant projects.

They operate with a level of charisma in the room – certainly not order takers. They sense the gaps then find the solutions.”
National coverage

To ensure our specialists are always where they’re needed, we operate as one firm with hubs in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. We advise on a range of public and private sector projects.


Specialist expertise

Recent projects
Central Interceptor Tunnel Project

Recent Projects


Central Interceptor Tunnel Project

Greenwood Roche is assisting Watercare with this significant project designed to ensure there is sufficient capacity in Watercare’s wastewater network to meet planned population growth and development in Auckland and prevent overflows into the waterways and harbours.


The Central Interceptor is a wastewater tunnel that will run between Western Springs and the Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant. The tunnel will run underground for 13 kilometres and will be at a depth of between 22 and 110 metres.  Along the route it will connect to Watercare's existing wastewater network, which will divert flows and overflows into the tunnel.

Hadleigh Yonge is leading Greenwood Roche’s team which is advising Watercare on various aspects of this project, including providing strategic advice, negotiating and acquiring property rights, and advising on and dealing with issues relating to compensation.


Specialist expertise

Key lawyers involved

Similar projects
Electricity upgrades

Recent Projects

Electricity upgrades

Electricity upgrades

The national electricity grid is owned by the State-owned enterprise, Transpower New Zealand, with lower voltage distribution lines owned by a range of locally and publicly owned entities.


Greenwood Roche advises Transpower on all property aspects relating to the national grid including the new 400kV-capable transmission line between Whakamaru, in south Waikato, and Auckland.


Specialist expertise

Key lawyers involved

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Major new transmission line

Recent Projects


Major new transmission line

Transpower is currently constructing the new 220kV transmission line connecting Wairakei and Whakamaru, assisting with the development of renewable electricity generation around Taupo.


Greenwood Roche has acted for Transpower on the acquisition of property rights for this project. Our work has included the acquisition of easements, Maori land issues, advice on compulsory acquisition rights, emissions trading issues and compensation entitlements.


Specialist expertise

Key lawyers involved

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Northern Interceptor and North Harbour No. 2 Pipeline Projects

Recent Projects


Northern Interceptor and North Harbour No. 2 Pipeline Projects

Greenwood Roche is assisting Watercare with these two strategic pipeline projects designed to enable Watercare to keep up with the proposed growth in the northwest of Auckland.


These two projects are estimated to cost Watercare $800 million. The Northern Interceptor wastewater project will be constructed in various stages with construction to begin soon on stage one to service the growth areas in Massey North, Whenuapai, Hobsonville, Kumeu, Huapai and Riverhead. The North Harbour No.2 watermain will service the new Albany reservoir and will replace the existing watermain which cannot be maintained without disrupting local water supplies.

Hadleigh Yonge is leading Greenwood Roche’s team which is advising Watercare on all aspects of these projects, including providing strategic advice, negotiating and acquiring property rights, and advising and dealing with issues relating to compensation.


Specialist expertise

Key lawyers involved

Similar projects
Watercare’s North Shore Trunk Sewer 8

Recent Projects


Watercare’s North Shore Trunk Sewer 8

Watercare Services Limited is responsible for providing water and wastewater services to the greater Auckland region and is undertaking a number of projects to increase its infrastructure network.


Greenwood Roche is advising Watercare on the construction of a significant new wastewater pipeline in the Northcote area. The project affects a number of properties including private and various forms of public land.  Our work has included the acquisition of property rights to enter and construct the works, and issues relating to compensation.


Specialist expertise

Key lawyers involved

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Waipa Networks’ new transmission line

Recent Projects


Waipa Networks’ new transmission line

Waipa Networks has identified the need to construct a new 110kV transmission line to increase the security and reliability of electricity supply to Te Awamutu and the surrounding areas.


We are advising Waipa Networks on this project. Our work has included strategic advice, acquisition of land property rights, Maori land issues, and advice on compulsory acquisition rights and compensation entitlements.


Specialist expertise

Key lawyers involved

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Watercare’s North Shore Trunk Sewer 8

Recent Projects


Watercare’s North Shore Trunk Sewer 8

Watercare Services Limited is responsible for providing water and wastewater services to the greater Auckland region and is undertaking a number of projects to increase its infrastructure network.


Greenwood Roche is advising Watercare on the construction of a significant new wastewater pipeline in the Northcote area. The project affects a number of properties including private and various forms of public land.  Our work has included the acquisition of property rights to enter and construct the works, and issues relating to compensation.


Specialist expertise

Key lawyers involved

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Waipa Networks’ new transmission line

Recent Projects


Waipa Networks’ new transmission line

Waipa Networks has identified the need to construct a new 110kV transmission line to increase the security and reliability of electricity supply to Te Awamutu and the surrounding areas.


We are advising Waipa Networks on this project. Our work has included strategic advice, acquisition of land property rights, Maori land issues, and advice on compulsory acquisition rights and compensation entitlements.


Specialist expertise

Key lawyers involved

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Otakaro - Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre

Recent Projects


Otakaro - Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre

Te Pae, meaning “a gathering place” in te reo Maori, is a highly anticipated anchor project being developed by Otakaro.  It will be a world class convention and exhibition facility neighbouring Cathedral Square in the heart of Christchurch.


Greenwood Roche has assisted Otakaro with various property aspects relating to the Convention Centre.


Specialist expertise

Key lawyers involved

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Environmentally-friendly transport initiatives in Christchurch

Recent Projects

Environmentally-friendly transport initiatives in Christchurch

Environmentally-friendly transport initiatives in Christchurch

Greenwood Roche assisted Christchurch City Council in launching and supporting the city’s recent environmentally-friendly transport initiatives intended to support sustainable multi-modal journeys, and complement and enhance the region’s existing public transport network. 


The initiatives comprise the introduction of the shared electric car fleet with Yoogo, a proposed public bike share system, and Lime’s e-scooters.

Christchurch City Council has partnered with a range of leading public and private sector organisations with a view to promoting the physical health of its residents, reducing the negative impacts that traditional transport options have on the environment, and reducing the number of cars on Christchurch roads.

Greenwood Roche’s team, led by James Riddoch, worked with Christchurch City Council to prepare the legal framework to support these projects, including advising Council on procurement matters, negotiating the commercial terms with the suppliers, and advising Council in relation to the required permits to allow these businesses to operate in the city.


Specialist expertise

Key lawyers involved

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The development of the Redhills area

Recent Projects

The development of the Redhills area

The development of the Redhills area

Greenwood Roche is assisting Watercare deliver an improved wastewater network to enable the development of the Redhills area.


Watercare is working with various interested parties to deliver improved wastewater services to enable the Redhills area to be extensively developed with the introduction of close to 10,000 residential properties.

Hadleigh Yonge is leading Greenwood Roche’s team which is advising Watercare on aspects of this project, including providing strategic advice, negotiating and acquiring property rights, and advising on and negotiating infrastructure funding agreements.


Specialist expertise

Key lawyers involved

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Northern Corridor Improvements Project

Recent Projects


Northern Corridor Improvements Project

Greenwood Roche is assisting Align Limited to secure land for the development of the NZ Transport Agency’s Northern Corridor improvement works.


The Northern Corridor Improvements Project is part of the Government’s accelerated package of transport infrastructure improvements for Auckland and includes the upgrading of the connection between State Highway 1 and State Highway 18, the extension of the Northern Busway and additional lanes on State Highway 1.

Hadleigh Yonge is leading Greenwood Roche’s team which is advising on aspects of this project, including negotiating and acquiring property rights, and advising on and dealing with issues relating to compensation.


Specialist expertise

Key lawyers involved

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AA Insurance secures new premises in Auckland

Recent Projects

AA Insurance secures new premises in Auckland

AA Insurance secures new premises in Auckland

Antonia Shanahan and Jimmy Tait-Jamieson advised AA Insurance Limited in respect of the relocation of its New Zealand head office to a new build in Sale Street, Central Auckland, as the anchor tenant of the building. 


The project involved significant negotiation with a prominent New Zealand developer, resulting in a number of transaction agreements, which included careful risk mitigation measures to remove leasetail issues.  Multiple parties were involved in the transaction with the property being sold to an overseas buyer before completion of the building by the developer. The transaction resulted in a new premises that aligned with the company’s values, and included an innovative and energy efficient design and flexible working space with light and views across Auckland city.


Specialist expertise

Key lawyers involved

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Recent news & insights
Subdivision Intensive Paper

News & Insights

Subdivision Intensive Paper

Subdivision Intensive Paper

Lauren Semple recently presented a paper as part of the NZCLE Workshop on Subdivisions.  This paper considers the wider context of subdivision and land development and reflects on some of the tools, requirements and alternative processes which can influence the way projects take shape.  


It first looks at a number of the alternative legislative schemes set up in recent years to fast track development (including subdivision), and considers some of the lessons from these examples which may usefully inform future legislation including the much touted but not yet here urban development authority approach.  It touches on the role of, and tools available to, local authorities under the Local Government Act in relation to subdivisions, including the use of development contributions and development agreements to service growth and asks whether our preoccupation with new tools might prevent us from effectively utilising the tools we already have.   
Download the paper here - https://app.box.com/s/58174muot1x5y7b53t8imgxd4d5l5frd


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Draft Otakaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Plan released for public consultation

News & Insights

Draft Otakaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Plan released for public consultation

Draft Otakaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Plan released for public consultation

For the past two years Lauren Semple and Rachel Murdoch have been advising Regenerate Christchurch on the development of the Otakaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Plan. 


The Draft Plan was released for consultation on 14 November 2018 with submissions due by 5pm on 19 December 2018.  You can find a copy of the draft plan here - http://engage.regeneratechristchurch.nz/accessible-draft-oarc-regeneration-plan-homepage

 


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Greenwood Roche – Wellington Supreme Award 2018

News & Insights

Greenwood Roche – Wellington Supreme Award 2018

Greenwood Roche – Wellington Supreme Award 2018

We are pleased to continue to support the Property Council New Zealand Wellington Property People Awards which recognise and celebrate excellence in property in Wellington.  Wellington Partner, Doran Wyatt had the honour of presenting the Greenwood Roche Supreme Award as part of the event on 11 October 2018.


Congratulations to McKee Fehl Constructors Ltd, this year’s winner of the Greenwood Roche Supreme Award, for the Press Hall 80 Willis Street / 22 Boulcott Street project.
 
What stood out for the judges was the ability of McKee Fehl to repurpose and modernise the Press Hall site.  The end result is an iconic development that adds vibrancy to Wellington but also respects the heritage of the original building.
 
The testimonials for this project summed it up:

  • “The concept of unlocking Press Hall, which was essentially buried in between Boulcott Street and Willis Street, was a clever idea.”
  • “The newly formed urban laneway leading to the food hall is activated by vibrant and diverse kiosks and a bar above, the veranda can now be occupied by people adding to the urban fabric of the street.”
  • “Never before have such old, run down, dark and dingy buildings been so substantially structurally modified, seismically upgraded and refurbished to create such an open, vibrant and modern workplace.”
In the judges’ words, “This feels like an iconic development with wide benefit for Wellington”.
 
Congratulations to Maurice Clark and the McKee Fehl team.


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New National Housing and Urban Development Authority

News & Insights

New National Housing and Urban Development Authority

The Government has confirmed the introduction of a national Housing and Urban Development Authority (HUDA) equipped with the tools to by-pass standard legislative processes and streamline urban development projects.  The announcement follows numerous recommendations in various reports over the past decade and the release of the Urban Development Authorities: Discussion Document last year.


Eligible urban development projects will include the provision of new public, affordable and Kiwibuild housing, as well as transport links, commercial and industrial developments, infrastructure and supporting community facilities (schools, pools, open spaces and libraries). The HUDA will also absorb the function of Housing New Zealand as the landlord for public housing in New Zealand. 
 
Read more here: https://app.box.com/s/2kjey5enswm7x08itfis3knzokz67t8o


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Key changes introduced by the Land Transfer Act 2017

News & Insights

Key changes introduced by the Land Transfer Act 2017

Key changes introduced by the Land Transfer Act 2017

The Land Transfer Act 2017 (Act) came into force on Monday, 12 November 2018. It repealed the Land Transfer Act 1952 (Old Act), and is intended to modernise, simplify and consolidate the Old Act and its amendments.

The Act also made amendments to the Property Law Act 2007 (PLA), including the introduction of covenants in gross, with effect from 12 November 2018.


In the main, the Act is not intended to change our land transfer laws substantially. However, some controversy exists regarding the right of an owner to reclaim title under the manifest injustice provisions, arguably eroding the principle of indefeasibility of title. Also, not all changes promoted during consultation have been adopted, such as placing more onus on mortgagees to verify the identify of their clients, separately defining encumbrances from mortgages, and permitting senior legal executives to certify and sign instruments in Landonline.
 
Some key changes are set out below.
 
New terminology
The Act includes new terminology aimed at modernising the language used. For example, a “certificate of title” and the clumsy “computer freehold/leasehold/interest register” has become the crisper “record of title”, and “registered proprietor” has become “registered owner”. There is also a concept of “replacement lease”, which is a renewed lease or a new lease in substitution for a prior lease between the same parties and relating to the same land.
 
Withholding information for a person’s safety
The Registrar-General of Land is able to refuse to provide a copy of an instrument or a record of title that identifies a person, or to include those details on the register in the first place, if the Register is satisfied that the information discloses or is likely to disclose the person’s location and prejudice their safety.
 
Caveats
There is now an express right for an owner of an estate or interest in land to lodge a caveat against their own title where there is a real risk of fraud.
 
Guaranteed title searches
Guaranteed searches back up the security of the land transfer system, by providing a right to compensation if a purchaser of an interest in a land transaction suffers loss due to the registration of a competing interest. Under the Old Act, the purchaser had to obtain a “guaranteed search” within 14 days before settling the transaction, and had to lodge the transaction documents within 2 months after settlement.
 
The Act updates these periods to reflect the electronic nature of land transactions by:

  • requiring that a guaranteed search of the title be obtained within 5 working days before (and including) the settlement date; and
  • reducing the period after settlement during which the transaction documents must be lodged at Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to 20 working days.  
As with the Old Act, no compensation will be payable if the title search disclosed the competing interest.
 
Compensation
Compensation is payable by the Crown when loss occurs in certain circumstances (including, but not exclusively, under the “guaranteed search” situation). Under the Old Act, the calculation for compensation is based on the land value at the time the loss occurred. The Act shifts the date on which compensation is to be assessed to when the claimant “gained (or ought reasonably to have gained) knowledge of the loss”.
 
The Act confirms that the value of the lost estate or interest in land is the “market value”.
 
The High Court may adjust compensation where the amount determined by the prescribed calculation is inadequate or excessive, and may determine at which date the market value should be assessed which may include a revised assessment as at the day of the court judgment.
 
Cancellation of land transactions in cases of “manifest injustice”
The High Court will have limited discretion to order the alteration of titles to avoid “manifest injustice”, but only where compensation or other damages would not properly address the injustice. The High Court may cancel registration of a land transaction and restore title to a person who has been deprived of an estate or interest, or suffered loss, due to that registration. The Court must take into account how the land was acquired, the length of time the parties have owned or occupied the land, the nature of any improvements made, the special characteristics of the land and its significance, and any other relevant circumstances. However, the Court cannot make an order if the estate or interest has subsequently been transferred to a third person acting in good faith.
 
Fraud
Fraud is one of the main exceptions to the indefeasibility of an owner’s title to land. “Fraud”, as an exception to indefeasibility, is now defined as forgery or other dishonest conduct of an owner or agent of an owner in acquiring an estate or interest in land. It is worth noting that, for the purposes of a Court order cancelling a land transaction in the case of “manifest injustice”, the existence of forgery or other dishonest conduct will not itself constitute the required level of injustice.
 
Introduction of covenants in gross and what it means for encumbrances
Until commencement of the Act, it was not possible to register an instrument that contained covenants or promises given by a landowner “in gross” – i.e. in favour of another person, rather than benefiting another parcel of land. Traditionally, these covenants have been included in encumbrances, which are a form of mortgage used for securing a long term obligation to pay a rental (known as a “rent charge”). To reduce the widespread use of encumbrances, the PLA has been amended to allow covenants in gross to be noted on records of title. This has been long awaited and should provide a registration option which is more palatable especially to banks. It also allows affected owners to seek modification or cancellation of existing encumbrances and replace them with covenants in gross.
 
While encumbrances are commonly used as a mechanism to register covenants, they are also properly (but uncommonly) used to register rent charges, and encumbrances are still referred to in the parts of the Act governing mortgages. Encumbrances therefore remain a viable instrument. There are some benefits in using encumbrances over covenants, including exclusion of the covenant modification provisions in the PLA, but, where the real purpose is to require a landowner to do or refrain from doing something for the benefit of another person, a covenant in gross will generally be the appropriate instrument.
 
Registrar’s power to correct titles
The Act clarifies the circumstances in which the Registrar is able to correct titles. The Registrar’s power of correction is now limited to correcting an error made by the Registrar, correcting an error made by a person preparing a document or information for registration, recording a boundary change due to accretion or erosion and giving effect to a court order.
 
Overriding statutes
The Act repeals the Statutory Land Charges Registration Act 1928, with the Act dealing with the registration, priorities and release of relevant charges.
 
Regulations
The Land Transfer Regulations 2002 have also been revoked, with the Land Transfer Regulations 2018 (Regulations) replacing them.
 
One of the key changes made in the Regulations is to update the terms implied into certain classes of easements. These changes include:
  • altering the description of the affected land from “servient tenement” to “burdened land” and from “dominant tenement” to “benefited land”;
  • referring to the part of the burdened land subject to the easement as the “easement area”, in line with commonly-used wording;
  • updating and aligning the equipment that can be installed under the various types of easement;
  • removing unnecessary wording, such as replacing the class of easement previously called “telecommunications and computer media” with simply “telecommunications”;
  • requiring the owner of the burdened land to act reasonably when the grantee seeks to install easement facilities; and
  • adding an implied electricity conveyance right in order to operate equipment installed under the easement powers (eg. a water pump).  
The Regulations also update the core information required to be used in land transaction forms. LINZ has provided template forms, although these remain inconsistent with each other and do not always contain the required core information.
 
New requirements for authority and identity
In conjunction with the Act and the Regulations, LINZ has issued new guidelines for authority and identity and the New Zealand Law Society has issued new authority and instruction forms. The guidelines and forms include greater detail about how clients instruct lawyers and conveyancing practitioners to electronically certify and sign land transfer instruments and how those instructions are required to be confirmed to be valid. In conjunction with the extension of Anti-Money Laundering requirements to lawyers, lawyers now play a key role in confirming that land transactions are free of fraud and other illegal activity.

If you would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact any of our property lawyers. Contact details can be found here.


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Greenwood Roche Young Achiever of the Year Award 2018

News & Insights

Greenwood Roche Young Achiever of the Year Award 2018

Greenwood Roche Young Achiever of the Year Award 2018

We are pleased to continue to support the Property Council Southern Excellence Awards which recognise and celebrate excellence in property in the South Island.  Christchurch Partner, Ranui Calman had the honour of presenting the Greenwood Roche Young Achiever Award as part of the event on 5 October 2018.


Congratulations to Nick Flack of Christchurch International Airport, this year’s winner of the Greenwood Roche Young Achiever Award.  Nick is the Asset Planning and Maintenance Manager at Christchurch International Airport, where he has achieved outstanding performance and has made a significant contribution to the planning, construction and on-going maintenance of the Airport’s infrastructure assets.  He has shown focus, dedication and commitment, as well as grit and determination when faced with difficult situations.  He models a collaborative work style that brings together the organisation to translate strategy into action and has the promise of being a future industry leader.

Nick is currently part of the Strategy Action Leadership Group, which is responsible for turning corporate strategy into action.  He has a passion for commercial, operational and master planning as well as for driving long lasting solutions.  He creates clarity of purpose for his teams, articulating the Airport’s property and asset vision and then translating that vision into projects and maintenance plans.

The judges commented on Nick’s determination and motivation to achieve his goals as evidenced by undertaking full time study to complete his Masters in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, whilst also working full time.  He has also been an active member in South Island Logistics Forums, organised personal mentors to help him achieve his goals and completed leadership training, which he has been able to put into practice as part of the Senior Leadership Team.  The work Nick has been involved in has made a significant contribution to the whole of the South Island and the judges were impressed by how Nick sees the big picture, is future focussed and pushes boundaries to achieve his goals.  Nick embodies what this award seeks to recognise and celebrate and is without a doubt a leader of the future.

Congratulations Nick, we look forward to working with you and seeing where your career develop.


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