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Christchurch Rebuild

​A new beginning – and an imminent construction boom

Christchurch is about to experience a construction boom on a vast scale – estimated at NZ$40 billion. Christchurch City itself is now officially known as the Rebuild Zone, and has become the domain of owners, developers, consultants, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. These players will reshape Christchurch into a modern and vibrant city and a world class destination. We’re committed to and excited about working with the people and businesses of Christchurch to bring the city back to life.

Chapman Tripp has been based in Christchurch for over 15 years. We are focused on providing coordinated advice to those with an interest in Christchurch as the rebuild gains momentum. Our market leading multi-practice construction projects team offers a seamless service including advising on:

  • transactional and contentious construction matters
  • consenting and environmental law
  • property and leasing
  • financing
  • health and safety
  • employment
  • insurance
  • tax
  • insolvency, and
  • regulatory law. 

We also advise on all aspects of commercial and corporate law and in-bound investment.

Our experts have prepared a series of useful resources designed to educate Christchurch’s market players and highlight key issues in respect of the rebuild. Please click on the links below to find out more about the following resources available in our free rebuild tool kit:

Development models and contract structuring​​

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​There are a number of different ways that a construction project can be structured and procured.  The chosen model will greatly influence the risk allocation amongst the parties which in turn will be reflected in the commercial dealings between the parties, and it will also have a significant impact on how the parties act towards one another during the project execution phase.  This resource discusses the different models, the advantages and disadvantages of each model and the situations best suited to each model.  It also predicts that innovative models will come to bear in Christchurch, such as Early Contractor Involvement (ECI), as capacity and capability is stretched in the construction sector due to the Christchurch Rebuild.  

​Construction contracts

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​Construction is a high risk game and the construction industry’s capacity and capability will be tested in the expected building boom. It is important that Owners/Developers have clear strategies and goals for their construction projects, that contract documents are aligned to those goals, and that key project risks are identified and allocated appropriately in the contract documents. This resource sets out the key legal issues that Owners/Developers need to consider and address in their construction contracts and associated conditions of tender.

​Consultant agreements

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​​Consultants engaged by Owners/Developers may include architects, engineers, quantity surveyors and project managers.  These consultants are often key to the success of the project.  Owners/Developers should ensure that they enter into appropriate written agreements with their consultants.  Failure to do so could result in dispute and key consultant personnel could be ‘lost’ to other projects.  This resource discusses the key legal issues that Owners/Developers need to consider and address in their consultant agreements. 

​Insolvency issues in construction projects

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​The demise of Mainzeal is a reminder that construction can be a tough and unforgiving industry in New Zealand.  If the Owner’s main Contractor ‘goes under’, this is likely to have a major effect on the delivery of the Owner’s project.  Of course there could be far broader ramifications for employees, subcontractors and creditors of the main Contractor.  Owners can include tools in their construction contract to forewarn them of their main Contractor's financial difficulty and to assist with project continuity should the Contractor ‘fail’. This resource provides an introduction to the main formal insolvency proceedings - receivership, liquidation and voluntary administration - and discusses insolvency of the Owner’s main Contractor and protections the Owner can include in its construction contract to counter the adverse effect of such insolvency.

​Public Private Partnerships (PPP)

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​PPPs are gaining traction in the New Zealand infrastructure industry, with the recent award of the Hobsonville Schools PPP and Wiri Prison PPP and the upcoming Transmission Gully Road PPP in Wellington.  The PPP method of procurement could also be used for the delivery of large government infrastructure in Christchurch.  Under the PPP approach, the government lets a private consortium – typically comprised of a Design and Build Contractor, Operation and Maintenance / Facilities Maintenance Contractor, equity providers and Lenders – finance, design, build, operate and maintain an asset and to reap the benefit of the revenue stream associated with the asset for a defined term e.g. 25 years.  This resource discusses the basic PPP contractual structure, key features of a PPP and key risk allocation for Design and Build Contracts under the PPP approach.

​Consenting and environmental issues

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​​Owners/Developers will need to ensure that their project
and construction teams hold all relevant resource
consents and other environmental approvals to complete
the works. They will need to be familiar with all consent
conditions to be complied with, and be aware of the
implications for non-compliance. They should also know
about the consenting processes required should any
changes to the consents or conditions be needed (or
should new consents need to be obtained), which can
sometimes occur mid-project. Lack of understanding
or non-compliance with consents and other statutory
approvals could cause delays in a construction project,
if not stop it dead in its tracks. This resource explains
the forward-planning required for construction projects,
consenting basics and the issues and processes
associated with non-compliance and/or consent

Initial contacts