DLA Piper New Zealand is adept in all aspects of property development.

Projects of scale and size have characterised our extensive involvement in client’s property ventures.

These are frequently iconic projects for major New Zealand cities including multi-storey commercial buildings, large retailing malls, subdivisions, residential apartments and retirement villages. Some of these ventures set legal precedents. They often involve complex title structures, major subdivisions or innovative ownership structuring.

We have acted for developers on large scale projects subdividing land into lifestyle, industrial or residential blocks. In situations such as these, joint ownership, communal facilities and common infrastructure are key considerations; complex local authority requirements must be met, and reserve contributions determined.

We are often engaged from the inception of the project to its conclusion. This may involve legal and business advice on feasibility, due diligence, acquisition, consenting, construction and on leasing, retaining or selling of major projects.

Acquisitions and Disposals

DLA Piper New Zealand regularly undertakes land and building due diligence on behalf of prospective owners.

We carry out acquisitions and disposals for corporate clients across large portfolios of property.

In addition to commercial clients, clients include government entities, with large holdings of land and buildings, and challenges involving the Treaty of Waitangi, environmental risk management, easements and public works. Other clients include listed and unlisted property funds and trusts, on shore and offshore, who are regularly transacting land and buildings.

We are experts on foreign ownership issues, regularly lodging applications to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO).

Crown Property Transactions

DLA Piper New Zealand acts for government and local government in many public works infrastructure projects in Crown Property transactions.

Treaty of Waitangi Settlements (Te Tiriti o Waitangi)

The firm has unusual and expert capability in treaty settlements. We have acted for the Crown on a number of deeds of settlement on Maori land including: advice, negotiation, documentation drafting, and settlement.


  • Feasibility, due diligence, subdivision, resource consents, contracting, building
  • Disposals and acquisitions
  • Joint ventures
  • Development agreements
  • Unit Titles, common ownership structures
  • GST implications of sales and acquisitions
  • Planning, RMA, zoning, environmental
  • Crown Property Transactions
  • Treaty of Waitangi settlements (Te Tiriti o Waitangi)


Changda International New Zealand Limited
DLA Piper New Zealand acted for Changda International New Zealand Limited in the acquisition of a large development site of approximately 40 hectares in Orewa, Auckland for the purpose of large scale residential development with an estimated cost in excess of NZ$100 million.

The transaction involved due diligence in relation to the acquisition, complex resource management issues, and a multifaceted application for Overseas Investment Office consent.

Insight Global Farmland Fund Limited
DLA Piper New Zealand advised Insight Global Farmland Fund Limited (IGFFL) on the purchase of a Southland 'going-concern' dairy farm business from Fermoy Farms Limited. The transaction included the transfer of property, plant and equipment, contracts and livestock, and also involved complex water rights issues.

DLA Piper New Zealand further advised IGFFL on the purchase of a Southland 'going concern' dairy farm business at Opio and Otauatau, from Braeside Enterprises Limited. The overseas investment transaction has satisfied the criteria by providing 'substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand'.

Holmes Consulting Limited
The Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct is one of the anchor projects of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Agency's (CERA) city Recovery Plan.  DLA Piper New Zealand acted for the structural, civil and geotechnical engineering consultant, a key role given the location of the precinct and risk of earthquakes.

DLA Piper New Zealand has also worked with Holmes on several other major Christchurch projects, namely the new Christchurch Hospital and Burwood Hospital redevelopments reportedly valued at $300 million.