Construction & major projects

Seamless legal service for New Zealand’s construction industry

Our specialist construction and major projects lawyers in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch have advised on the largest and most complex construction projects throughout New Zealand and around the world.

Our multi-practice team offers market-leading expertise and a seamless service across the entire project lifecycle to deliver successful outcomes for clients spanning the full spectrum of industry, commerce and government. We advise on:

We offer a team of both front end and dispute resolution experts led by construction specialist Brian Clayton. Brian's practice is focused solely on construction projects and he has worked on projects in New Zealand and around the globe worth approximately NZ$100b.

Our construction and major projects lawyers can provide tailored training on a range of topics including consenting and environmental law, construction and engineering, and dispute resolution. We will tailor format and content to meet any requirements and would welcome the opportunity to discuss these training options with you.

Ranked Tier One for construction and real estate work by independent legal directories Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016, Chambers Asia Pacific 2015 and AsiaLaw Profiles 2016

Christchurch rebuild

Chapman Tripp has been based in Christchurch for over 15 years. We are well placed to provide coordinated advice to those with an interest in Christchurch as the rebuild gains momentum.

Our lawyers have advised:

  • Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) and NZ Transport Agency (The Transport Agency) on the establishment of the alliance for the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT), which is undertaking a major section of the horizontal infrastructure rebuild following the major Canterbury earthquakes
  • Earthquake Commission on the project management and works contracts relating to reinstatement works
  • Lyttelton Port Company on remediation works following the Canterbury earthquakes
  • a contractor building a significant commercial and retail building in the Christchurch CBD following the Canterbury earthquakes.


Healthcare construction projects have a unique set of requirements such as ensuring continuity of operations with minimal disruption on brownfield projects. Our lawyers have the necessary experience to manage these high-risk and important projects while ensuring that patient care is maintained.

Our lawyers have advised:

  • on the Burwood and Christchurch Hospital redevelopment projects
  • Canterbury District Health Board and Lakes District Health Board on construction-related matters
  • Greenlane Hospital on the construction of Building 1 and the refurbishment of Building 4 – ambulatory, day surgery clinical centre and outpatient facilities
  • Waitakere Hospital on the redevelopment of its medical and surgical wards, operating theatres, radiology department, emergency department, acute assessment, physiotherapy, roading and carpark facilities
  • Fisher & Paykel Healthcare on the construction of stage 3 of its research, development and production facility at East Tamaki


Our lawyers work on New Zealand’s largest and most innovative infrastructure projects.  We have been appointed by the The Transport Agency to be part of the Puhoi to Warkworth Planning Alliance, known as “Further North”. This is believed to be the first time (globally) a law firm has ever been part of such an Alliance.
Our lawyers have advised:
  • The Transport Agency on the NZ$2b Waterview Connection Project, the largest ever roading project in New Zealand. Also on recovery actions and a wide range of construction law matters, including issues relating to contract drafting, tendering, contractors’ claims and insurance
  • Ministry of Education on its National Transportables Programme for the procurement of transportable classrooms
  • Ministry of Transport investigating the private sector development for a new $442m ferry terminal at Clifford Bay, Marlborough
  • a major New Zealand infrastructure company in a significant arbitration relating to an unforeseen ground conditions claim brought by the head contractor in a power tunnel project
  • the Abu Dhabi Government on the large-scale brownfield development of Abu Dhabi International Airport (capex of many USD billions)
  • on the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a railway (including the procurement of rail cars) to service a world scale petrochemical facility in Saudi Arabia
  • on the dredging of a 12km-long approach channel together with the design and construction of a breakwater, shoreline protection, container wharf and roll-on/roll-off dock in Saudi Arabia


Chapman Tripp has a leading reputation advising at the interface of public and private sector interests. We have acted on all of the pathfinder PPPs to date in New Zealand, and our lawyers have worked on PPPs in the UK, the Middle East, Australia and Europe.

Our lawyers have advised:

  • major entities (including making submissions on their behalf) on the New Zealand standard PPP contract when it was being developed by Treasury
  • ACC in its role as a major provider of equity into the Wiri Men’s Prison PPP
  • a consortium led by Leighton Contractors (ultimately second-placed to the winning SecureFuture consortium) in relation to the Wiri Men’s Prison PPP
  • McConnell Group on its equity investment into the Hobsonville Schools PPP project in New Zealand and providing ongoing advice to its subsidiary, Hawkins Construction, in relation to the project
  • an equity provider on the Transmission Gully highway PPP


Our lawyers have extensive experience advising on local and international power projects.

Our lawyers have advised:
  • Mighty River Power on major refurbishment works at various Hydro Power Stations and on the construction of three new geothermal power stations at Kawerau (90MW), Nga Awa Purua (132MW) and Ngatamariki (80MW)
  • Transpower on all aspects of its NZ$415m North Auckland and Northland (NAaN) cables project
  • Meridian Energy on the construction and procurement contracts for its White Hill, Te Uku, West Wind, and Mill Creek wind farms and the refurbishment of its hydro stations, including preparing and advising on works contracts, professional service contracts, supply contracts and service and maintenance contracts
  • Meridian Energy’s Australian subsidiary on the construction and procurement contracts for the Mt Mercer wind farm in Victoria, Australia using the NEC3 suite of contracts
  • Genesis Energy on contracts for major upgrades and refurbishments of its thermal and hydro generation assets
  • the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority (SIEA) on two key energy construction projects: the Solomon Islands’ first public private partnership involving a new hydroelectric power plant project; and the engineering, procurement and construction contract for an expansion of an existing power plant, the first major capital works project for SIEA for over 20 years


Chapman Tripp has specialist knowledge of the issues facing water-based infrastructure projects and a proven track record of delivery on water based schemes.

Our lawyers have advised:

  • Meridian Energy on property, stakeholder, consenting, construction and procurement issues in relation to Meridian’s proposed North Bank hydro generation scheme (approx. NZ$1b)
  • Waimakariri Irrigation on the consenting, finance, construction and operation of its scheme, including the consenting and construction of a storage dam

Oil & gas

Chapman Tripp has broad experience advising domestic and international companies on their exploration and production activities.

Our lawyers have advised: 

  • Methanex, the New Zealand subsidiary of Canadian Methanex Corporation (the world’s largest supplier of methanol), on development work related to its existing methanol production facilities in New Zealand
  • Woodside Energy on multiple construction contracts relating to its AU$40b Browse LNG Project in Western Australia
  • on the development of a €400m methanol plant at Damietta, Egypt, which included the design and construction of port berthing, storage, loading and unloading facilities
  • Egyptian Refining Company in relation to the design and construction of a world-class hydro-cracking/coking facility (which was Africa's largest project finance deal to date)
  • a Sponsor in relation to the design and construction of the largest ever single-build petrochemical facility (the Sadara Petrochemical Project in Saudi Arabia, which will cost in excess of US$20b, and which will also purportedly be the largest project financing to date)


We regularly act for both New Zealand and international companies operating in New Zealand’s mining and minerals sector.

Our lawyers have advised:

  • Orica on the design and construction of water treatment facilities for a proposed new large coal mine in the South Island
  • the developer (Vale) on the procurement and construction contracts relating to its mine-mouth coal-fired power plant in Mozambique
  • the project finance lenders on procurement and construction contracts relating to the vast Mmamabula Coal Mine and Power Plant Project in Botswana

Commercial, retail and residential

We have worked on numerous commercial, retail and residential developments throughout New Zealand.

Our lawyers have advised:

  • ANZ on construction contracts and associated tender and other documents relating to the refurbishment of the branches previously operating under the National Bank brand, and also in relation to the new build of its national Data Centre
  • Eden Park Redevelopment Board on the construction contracts for the upgrade of Eden Park (Auckland's major sports stadium)
  • Spark (formerly Telecom) as anchor tenant on agreements to lease for design, build and construct projects in Wellington and Auckland
  • James Hardie in relation to High Court product liability claims arising from New Zealand’s “leaky building” crisis
  • Goodman Property Trust on the development and construction of the M20 industrial / office park at Plunket Ave, Wiri and the MP3 office development at Great South Road, Greenlane
  • ANZ on the construction contract for its national Data Centre and template construction contracts for use on the refurbishment of its retail premises  
  • developers and contractors in respect of the design and build of numerous major office, commercial, retail, shopping centre and residential developments throughout New Zealand
  • on the construction of a vast multi-use (residential, leisure and commercial) property development in Dubai
  • an international contractor consortium on construction disputes relating to a world renowned major development in the Middle East

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