Property Development
Astute and timely advice
If you’re involved in property development, you want astute and timely legal advice to help facilitate your goals. Wynn Williams has the experience to bring key insights to the table, and add real value to each project.

Our team is experienced in all aspects of residential and industrial subdivision and development. Key areas of expertise include zoning and RMA issues, the consent process, and valued practical advice throughout the life of the project.

We regularly advise on:
  • zoning and Resource Management Act issues
  • acquisition of property – due diligence, suitability and feasibility of the project
  • obtaining subdivision consents, and plan changes, on terms acceptable to the developer
  • timely completed of the subdivision process, to enable sale of new titles
  • advice on tax structures and issues specific to property development projects
  • co-ordinating the subdivision team of surveyor, construction and agents


Recent Projects

  • Purchase of a large North Island station for overseas investors.



Building law reform – risk and liability proposals

The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) is currently consulting on a range of proposed reforms to building law. One area of consultation relates to the allocation of risk and liability in the building sector. One option being considered is a requirement for builders to offer guarantee and insurance products for all residential new builds and for significant alterations. MBIE has also considered, and at this stage rejected, changes to the liability regime for building consent authorities.

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Receiverships: who, what and why

The recent enforced receivership of national construction firm Ebert Construction has thrust receiverships back into the spotlight. With some 95 staff laid off and creditors owed around $40 million, the consequences of a high-profile company being forced into a receivership are apparent. Nonetheless, many people involved in the construction industry, and the general public, may have little knowledge of what a receivership entails.

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Do councils now owe a duty of care to building developers?

Jonathan Pow and Isabella van Woerkom discuss the recent Supreme Court decision in Southland Indoor Leisure Centre Charitable Trust v Invercargill City Council.

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New Health & Safety Bill Introduced to Parliament

As discussed in our previous articles Impact of Health and Safety Reforms at Governance Level and Government Announces Law Reform Package for Workplace Safety, the Government’s “Working Safer” package aims to significantly reform New Zealand’s Health and Safety law. One of the most fundamental components of this change will be the introduction of entirely new legislation. This will replace the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (HSE).

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Building your new home - points to note

Building your dream home should not be a nightmare. With the right advice and information building a house can be a smoother process.

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Commercial Earthquake Insurance Claims - Lessons Learned and Observations

When going into bat for commercial clients to help maximise their earthquake insurance claims, two things are vital:  information and tenacity.

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Building Repair and the Building Act 2004

An insurer, under usual replacement insurance policy terms, has to reinstate a building. Typically the insurer will, as part of this, have to comply with building requirements applying at the time of reinstatement.

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Post Earthquake Construction

The key to putting together a solid project with good prospects of success in the current environment is to thoroughly prepare in advance, understand what the risks to the project might be, and take a practical approach to allocating those risks across the parties involved.

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Lease break clauses

The hurdle is very high for showing a lease has been frustrated, so almost all leases contain a break clause. At least in theory a break clause is more workable than the law of frustration as the break terms can be spelt out.

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Construction Contracts: the effects of the Canterbury Quakes

The Canterbury earthquakes have thrown up many things to be learnt.  This article highlights some key things to consider when planning a new commercial building contract.  These issues apply wherever the building is to be located in New Zealand.

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More than leases bargained for

In the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes many building owners, tenants, developers, and even lawyers have turned to their leases in an attempt to figure out exactly what they happens in a disaster.

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Quakes Prompt Rethink of Leases

The earthquakes have shown up weaknesses in commercial leases used across New Zealand.

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Disclosure Requirements under the new Unit Titles Act 2010

The Unit Titles Act 2010 (the "New Act") came in to force on 20 June 2011.  This new Act replaces the outdated Unit Titles Act 1972 and brings with it some significant changes.

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New York skyscraper provides pointers for rebuilding

Recently I visited one of the world's greenest buildings. My colleague, Jared Ormsby, and I recently visited one of the world's greenest skyscrapers, One Bryant Park in New York.

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The Deposit

The vendor wants it, the agent wants it more and the buyer cannot find it. Is it important? Jonathan Gillard, partner with the Christchurch Lawlink firm of Wynn Williams, looks at the issues and tells us why collecting a deposit is so important to the vendor.

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Reported Decisions

  • Williams v Cazemier [2009] 11 NZCPR 79
  • Chirnside v Fay [2007] 1 NZLR 433
  • Chirnside v Fay (No 2) [2005] 3 NZLR 689
  • Shepherd v Disputes Tribunal [2004] NZAR 319
  • Chirnside & Rattray Properties Ltd v Fay, Supreme Court [2004] 3 NZLR 637, [2005] 3 NZLR 689) (CA)
  • Lowe v Brankin (2005) 6 NZCPR 607
  • Brankin v MacLean [2003] 2 NZLR 687
  • King v Wilkinson (1994) 2 NZ ConvC 191,828
  • Savin v De Vere(1986) 3 NZ ConvC 99,703

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Wynn Williams Christchurch
Level 5, Wynn Williams House, 47 Hereford Street, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand.
PO Box 4341, DX WX11179, Christchurch 8140.
+64 3 379 7622
+64 3 379 2467
Wynn Williams Auckland
Level 25, Vero Centre, 48 Shortland Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand.
PO Box 2401, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140.
+64 9 300 2600
+64 9 300 2609

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