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.”
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.
On 26 July 2023 an expert consenting panel granted Hughes Developments Limited’s Faringdon Oval application under the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020.
Faringdon Oval is a 69.3ha extension of the existing, well established Faringdon community in Rolleston, which has developed over the last decade under the Operative Selwyn District Plan, the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013, and more recently, the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast Track Consenting) Act 2020.
The Fast Track consent for Faringdon Oval authorises the subdivision, land use and associated activities needed to facilitate the addition of 684 residential units to the Rolleston housing supply with an additional 462 residential units to be enabled through super lots with minimum density requirements. The development will support a range of residential housing types and densities, high quality landscaping, open space reserves, a neighbourhood centre and a network of transport links to existing residential areas and the Rolleston town centre.
Greenwood Roche is delighted to have assisted HDL in delivering a development that will contribute significant housing supply in such a strategic location for the wider Canterbury region.
On 28 July 2023 the Dunedin City Council granted a variation to the conditions of the previously consented enabling works for the New Dunedin Hospital.
The variation provides for changes in the location and footprint of the proposed Inpatient Building which will be housed on the old Cadbury factory site. The variation also accommodates a new plant building between the Inpatient Building and the southern site boundary, and technical construction related changes such as updated pile designs and driving methodology for the Inpatient Building and its two link bridges.
Enabling works for the Outpatient Building are complete and above-ground construction has begun with a target ‘go-live’ date of 2025. Enabling works are underway for the significantly larger Inpatient Building which is scheduled to ‘go-live’ in 2029. The resource consent application to authorise the above-ground construction and operation of the Inpatient Building has now been lodged with the Environmental Protection Authority for referral to an expert consenting panel under the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020. Subject to securing all necessary approvals, construction of that Building is scheduled to begin in Q1 2024.
The Greenwood Roche team has been advising Te Whatu Ora on the resource management and property aspects of the New Dunedin Hospital project since 2017.
Greenwood Roche recently acted for Bei Group Limited on Plan Change 59: Albany 10 Precinct to the Auckland Unitary Plan (Operative in Part), securing appropriate zoning and plan provisions to develop a comprehensive residential development, which will enable 1,800 dwellings in buildings up to ten storeys on part of the old Massey Campus, near the Albany town centre.
We advised Bei Group through the initial application, including notification and hearing phases and, following approval of the plan change, an appeal by Kristin School to the Environment Court largely in respect of transport matters. Concurrently, Greenwood Roche provided advice on conflicts between Auckland Council’s Plan Change 78 (Intensification Planning Instruments required by the National Policy Statement Urban Development) and proposed Variation 3 to the Auckland Unitary Plan. Ultimately Variation 3 was withdrawn by the Council and the appeal was resolved. On 9 December 2022, Auckland Council’s planning committee approved the operative status of the Plan Change, with formal notification to follow in early 2023.
Bei Group Limited can now progress its vision for its 13.7ha site at 473 Albany Highway - to create a vibrant, diverse and high-quality residential neighbourhood, with a range of housing typologies that will be supported by a new internal street network, quality public open space and a commercial hub to service resident demand. Greenwood Roche is delighted with this outcome and is looking forward to watching this exemplar development come to life.
Greenwood Roche has advised Hurupaki Holdings Limited through a Council hearing process, and an Environment Court appeal, to successfully obtain resource consent for a non-complying subdivision creating 76 residential allotments (including associated infrastructure and earthworks), a local café, a recreational reserve and playground, located on the fringe of Kamo in Northland.
As part of its masterplan the applicant proposed a suite of positive benefits that would reduce effects of the subdivision on the environment and improve overall amenity for the wider community. This included extensive replanting, restoration and enhancement of two natural areas - the Hurupaki Cone – which holds particular significance as an Outstanding Natural Feature and an Outstanding Natural Landform – and the Waitaua Stream.
The reporting team on behalf of Whangārei District Council recommended that the application be declined as it did not achieve a “net environmental benefit” as required by the relevant objectives and policies of the operative plan. The application was nevertheless granted by an Independent Commissioner who concluded that overall effects are likely to be minor and that, if consent was refused, then less acceptable outcomes would likely eventuate. An appeal to the Environment Court was made in respect of conditions; however these were ultimately resolved by agreement, with the Court’s final consent determination recently issued under urgency.
As a long-standing legal provider for Beca, Greenwood Roche recently led negotiations between Beca and Precinct Properties for the relocation of Beca House (Beca’s Auckland Office and Global Headquarters) to a new 14,000m² office premises as the anchor tenant in Precinct Properties’ latest development at 126 Halsey Street, Wynyard Quarter.
These negotiations continued our involvement in the project, working alongside Beca and Colliers to develop a market engagement strategy and assessing options that helped secure a better, faster and more efficient transaction.
Don Lyon, Chief Strategy & Operations Officer at Beca: “[The team at Greenwood Roche was] practical, collaborative and constructive, which on a complex deal with short timeframes, assisted greatly to reach agreement, on terms acceptable to its Board. Greenwood Roche were instrumental in developing a robust commercial strategy, then helping us negotiate a comprehensive and detailed Heads of Terms, that enabled us to discuss and resolve all major issues with the prospective landlord at the earliest possible time, giving confidence to our Board and significantly accelerating subsequent negotiations, once we progressed to a full Development Agreement, Agreement to Lease and Lease.”
A key focus for both Beca and Precinct was the performance of the building, including sustainability initiatives. The new building is designed to achieve a 6-star Green Star rating and a 5-star NABERSNZ rating.
The transaction was concluded swiftly and maintained programme for the project thanks to the collective efforts of Beca, Greenwood Roche, Colliers, Precinct Properties and Russell McVeagh.
Greenwood Roche has successfully assisted WFT Finance & Investment Company Limited, directed by Mr Wayne Wright and Mrs Chloe Wright, to secure a private plan change to the Hauraki District Plan to rezone the 33 hectare former Paeroa Racecourse site and approve a Structure Plan to facilitate a mix of residential, commercial and open space development at the site.
Plan Change 5 was approved by the Hauraki District Council following a public notification and hearings process. Development of the site in accordance with the approved zoning and Structure Plan provisions will enable approximately 240 residential lots of various sizes to be provided, and a new chapel and associated commercial and visitor accommodation offerings to be developed. Development of the site will contribute meaningfully to Paeroa’s housing stock and to attract tourism to the Paeroa area. On-site amenity for future residents, public open spaces, adaptation of existing racecourse buildings on the site, and community activities and facilities will also be provided.
Greenwood Roche is thrilled to have welcomed key property and construction industry participants to our new Auckland home in the Hayman Kronfeld Building for our inaugural Connecting Construction Panel event: Project Challenges and Opportunities for 2023, moderated by construction partner, Amy Rutherford. The event took place on the 26th of April and was a great success, and we're grateful to all the panellists and audience members who took the time to share their insights and expertise on the evening.
We were lucky enough to have a diverse range of perspectives represented, and the discussion was both informative and thought-provoking. We learned a lot about the upcoming challenges and opportunities that all parts of the industry see ahead in the coming year and beyond, and how different parts of the sector are reacting and preparing. We look forward to continuing the conversation with them and our wider community. Stay tuned for articles and other content that will follow on from our discussion – we believe that the insights shared at the event will be valuable to anyone working in the property and construction sector.
Finally, thank you to all of our panellists, Sharon Zollner - Chief Economist at ANZ New Zealand, Patrick Dougherty - General Manager (Construction & Innovation) at Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities, Ralph Simpson - General Counsel (Disputes & Commercial) at Fletcher Building, Jeremy Hay- Managing Director at RCP, and Tamati Parker - Director at C3 Construction.
The High Court ruling in Commerce Commission v NGB Properties Limited  NZHC 2005 has brought land covenants to the forefront of New Zealand’s commercial landscape. This landmark case has significant implications for what has, up until now, been a reasonably common use of land covenants, and sheds light on the interplay between competition law and property rights.
The case involved two adjoining properties. Bunnings Limited (Bunnings) owned one of the properties (Gilmore Site). While the Gilmore Site was big enough for a Bunnings home improvement store, it fell short of the size required for a Bunnings Warehouse. To establish a Bunnings Warehouse and to effectively compete with the Mitre 10 MEGA store, situated a mere 500 metres from the Gilmore Site, Bunnings would have needed to acquire the property adjoining the Gilmore Site.
To prevent this, NGB Properties Limited (NGB), a company related to the owner of the Tauranga Mitre 10 MEGA, acquired the property adjoining the Gilmore Site. NGB then proceeded to further protect its interests by registering on the title an encumbrance containing a land covenant.
This covenant included a statement which provided that the owner of the land would not use any portion of the property for the purpose of carrying out the business of a hardware and home improvement retail store.
The Commerce Commission (Commission) received a complaint about NGB’s acquisition of the property adjoining the Gilmore Site and registration of the encumbrance against the title, and opened an investigation.
Following the Commission’s investigation, NGB accepted that the covenant contained in the encumbrance had the purpose of substantially lessening competition in the relevant market. Accordingly, NGB acknowledged that it had breached section 28 of the Commerce Act 1986 (Act). Section 28 prohibits the requiring, giving, carrying out, or enforcing of a covenant that has the purpose, effect, or likely effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.
When considering the appropriate penalty, Cooke J noted that, as the encumbrance was registered to impede Bunnings and other potential competitors from competing with the nearby Mitre 10 MEGA, it was important to impose a penalty that would serve as an effective deterrent to others.
Cooke J determined that, as no actual commercial gain arose from the offending, the maximum penalty imposable was $10 million. He then considered the following mitigating factors / factors which lessened the seriousness of the offending, before accepting the parties’ proposed penalty of $500,000:
This case is important in the context of managing competitive behaviour. Not only does it mark the first instance where the court has imposed a penalty for a breach of section 28 of the Act but, coupled with the following recent developments, it also sends a clear signal that there has been a tightening of competitive levers within the retail sector:
Landowners should be careful when considering the use of land covenants (whether registered in covenant instruments, leases or encumbrance instruments). Whilst land covenants will still have their place (e.g. for maintaining aesthetic similarities within in a subdivision), landowners should now, more than ever, bear in mind the fact that they cannot be used for the purpose of substantially lessening competition.
What will be considered as “substantially lessening competition” will of course depend on the particular circumstances of each case. As a starting point, the following points have been noted by the Commission in March 2023 guidance as being more likely to cause a substantial effect on competition:
Seek Legal Advice
If you have any concerns over the potential anti-competitive effect of a land covenant, whether on your property or someone else’s, we would be pleased to advise.
It’s been a busy start to the year for the Greenwood Roche team and we are excited to share a few pieces of news, which reflect our position as New Zealand’s leading national projects law firm.
Since we opened our first office in 2005, our team has expanded to include more than 50 lawyers led by 16 partners across our three hubs in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
This update is an opportunity to share with you some of the growing successes and developments of our team, reflecting the commitment to our clients we all share.
Lauren Semple appointed to the Environment Court bench (Christchurch)
It’s unusual for the departure of a senior colleague to be a positive event, but in this case, we’re delighted.
On 27 February Partner Lauren Semple’s appointment to the bench of the Environment Court was formally confirmed and she will don her robes from 24 March, sitting in Wellington.
Lauren has been an invaluable part of our team since we established our Christchurch office a decade ago where, as part of our successful Planning and Environment team, Lauren was a leading legal advisor involved with the Christchurch rebuild. In that regard her work involved a number of key projects for the city, including development of the Central City Recovery Plan (“the Blueprint”), consenting the rebuild of both Christchurch and Burwood Hospitals, the temporary Stadium, the Justice and Emergency Precinct and delivering the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Plan. Recently, Lauren has been leading the consenting of the new Dunedin Hospital, advising the Crown on renewable energy generation options and utilising the Covid-Fast Track legislation to develop increased residential housing options throughout greater Christchurch.
Since Lauren’s arrival in 2012, our Planning and Environment specialty has expanded north and grown rapidly. We now have a national team of nine, spread across all three offices and forming a crucial part of our project offering. The team will continue to be led by Partner Francelle Lupis who joined us in our Auckland office in 2016.
Lauren’s appointment is a well-deserved recognition of Lauren’s qualities, the projects she has enabled, and the regard with which she is held within the sector – as well the strength and standing of our Planning and Environment team. Lauren leaves with the full support of the entire team at Greenwood Roche and the immense gratitude of the Partners for her work here.
Rachel Murdoch named Property Council Young Achiever of the Year (Christchurch)
Christchurch-based Senior Associate Rachel Murdoch was recently awarded the Property Council of New Zealand Young Achiever of the Year Award for 2022.
This award recognises her crucial role in a range of significant projects across the country, including the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Plan, Te Kaha multi-use arena and the Christchurch Cathedral, the new Dunedin Hospital and a number of significant Covid-Fast Track developments.
In addition to Planning and Environment, the Christchurch office has grown to include Real Estate and Construction practices, forming part of our national teams in those disciplines.
Nick Dunn appointed Partner (Wellington)
Wellington-based Principal Nick Dunn will join the partnership effective from 1 April 2023 (subject to Law Society requirements). Nick’s promotion was announced internally in September 2022, and we are pleased to now share the news more widely.
Nick joined Greenwood Roche in 2006 and re-joined us in 2013, after a brief stint overseas in Seoul, and is admired and respected in equal measure by staff and clients alike.
He has earned a reputation as a trouble-shooter and deal facilitator with a focus on public sector clients, but has also developed a strong market presence in the renewable energy sector. His main focus in recent years has been large-scale housing development projects.
Nick’s appointment to Partner is the latest in a long line of internal promotions, and highlights not only the continuity and relationship-based service we offer our clients, but also the strong supportive culture within our firm. Nick will be a great addition to our Real Estate team, which extends to 11 Partners nationally.
His new role will strengthen our Wellington team, which will have nine Partners, and means we are better placed than ever to service our diverse range of clients, while also continuing to ensure our unique culture thrives.
New Year, stunning new offices (Auckland)
Finally, to support the continued growth and development of the Auckland team. We very recently moved into the stunning Hayman Kronfeld Building in Britomart - a heritage refurbishment designed by Peddlethorp Architects.
It has been almost 10 years since Greenwood Roche first opened our Auckland office and the team jumped at the chance to relocate to this exciting new space within the latest Cooper & Co development. Originally two warehouses, the heritage buildings have undergone a significant renovation to become an integrated 5-Green Star office.
For us, the unique space represents how Greenwood Roche continues to stand out from the pack, doing things a little differently and creating a space that can be the hub of our culture despite the plethora of flexible working options available. The larger premises sees the team switch to open-plan working within pods, consistent with our other hubs. It also includes much greater meeting room capacity and features a variety of interesting and bespoke spaces for staff and clients to enjoy alongside our own roof terrace.
We look forward to hosting clients as soon as the final stages of the new interior are ready.
Outlook for 2023
While obvious economic headwinds and political uncertainty seem likely to make 2023 an interesting time to be in the real estate and projects business, we believe that there are still good untapped opportunities and projects there for those who are well connected and innovative - as well as in emerging sectors.
Given that backdrop, we are determined to continue to operate as a genuine participant in our sectors and to continue to innovate to help our clients make the most of opportunities that come their way.
For us that means continuing to focus on identifying and generating opportunities for our clients, not just waiting for the phone to ring, and thinking laterally to help position clients for the challenges of the year ahead.
We will also continue to leverage our large senior team and commercial focus to facilitate transactions and convert opportunities quickly for clients, given the wider uncertainty in the market.
This year will also see us continue to invest behind the scenes in broader outcomes initiatives. Clients will hear more from us about our exciting activity in this area as we seek to increase our work and expand our impact in this space.
Our resource management team have provided their thoughts on the proposed Natural and Built Environment Bill and the Spatial Planning Bill, which are proposed to repeal and replace the Resource Management Act 1991. Have a read here and get in touch with one of the team if you have any questions or would like some assistance making a submission on these important Bills (due 5 February 2023).
Greenwood Roche would like to congratulate Malcolm Gillies who was named the recipient of the highest accolade, the Greenwood Roche Supreme Excellence Award, at this year’s recent Property Council - Wellington Property Peoples Awards staged at Te Papa.
Malcolm, a pioneering property developer, has created a long list of high-profile developments including the soon-to-be completed NZ Campus of Innovation and Sport in Heretaunga – one of the most advanced training and research facilities in the world. Malcolm, the managing director of Gillies Group, has also created residential developments including Riverstone Terraces, Wallaceville Estate and Plimmerton Farm, and industrial and commercial precincts such as the South Pacific Industrial Park.
The judging panel praised Malcolm for driving change in both residential and leisure property sectors in a region that is not only his work base but also where he calls home. They felt Malcolm had created a focal point and increased the desirability of Upper Hutt through his vision and work. That he achieved this and was well-regarded in the industry and well-liked by his team made him a stand-out leader and a fitting recipient of the Greenwood Roche Supreme Excellence award.
We would like to extend our congratulations to all other award recipients and nominees from the evening.
Thank you to the team at Property Council New Zealand for organising the event and celebrating industry success.
Greenwood Roche looks forward to continuing our long association with the Awards in 2023.
Minister Nash’s Business Payment Practices Bill has just had its first reading in Parliament, and is open for public submissions until 26 February 2023.
The Bill is aimed at bringing transparency to business-to-business payment terms and practices in New Zealand, based on feedback from small businesses that late payments and lengthy payment terms harm their business. As the Explanatory Note sagely points out, this can lead to cash flow problems, temporary borrowing and, even, insolvency. When one considers how little many smaller businesses have to come and go on to even out the ebbs and flows, this is rather an understatement.
The sincerity of the Bill’s purpose statement is laudable: With this new public disclosure of payment practices information, members of the public and other entities will thus be equipped to to make an informed choice about whether to engage with certain large entities.
Despite all this, at the same time the Bill is openly honest in another stated aim of “supporting the Government to determine if there is a broader problem with extended payment terms” at all, such that regulatory intervention is warranted.
The Bill requires “large entities” (not just companies) with more than $33 million in annual revenue (including GST) for 2 or more consecutive accounting periods to file, twice yearly, a payment practices return with the newly created Registrar of Business Payment Practices. This return must cover invoices received or paid, the time taken to pay, the proportion of invoices paid in full plus other information relating to payment practices and policies, yet to be specified in regulations. The data will be published on a publicly searchable register maintained by MBIE.
Importantly, it seems, the filed return must include a statement that a director is satisfied the information in it is complete and accurate. Presumably if a director has turned their mind to it, the information should be reliable and directors will be incentivised to request change if the information paints their business in a bad light.
The Bill relies on large entities valuing their reputation sufficiently that they alter their payment practices to something, presumably, fairer. There are no other substantive sanctions short of not filing a return.
Talking of fairness, why could the unfair contracts provisions of the Fair Trading Act 1986 not have been relied on to deal with this potential problem? And why, in these difficult economic times, did Parliament need to spend valuable time legislating for something that is neither established to be a problem and could in any event have been dealt with through non-legislative means?
If you need any assistance in making a submission, in support or otherwise, please contact a member of our commercial team.