Our Local Government Strategy & Advisory Group comprises lawyers from a range of practice areas. 

Our Group has the experience and specialist knowledge to provide advice on all council-related matters including resource management, property, insurance, commercial, employment and litigation.

We regularly provide advice to district and regional councils along with corporate clients, developers and other private clients on local government-related matters.

Wynn Williams has specialist expertise in advising regional councils and is preferred legal service provider to two of the three largest regional councils in New Zealand.  

Wynn Williams has a complete understanding of how councils work and we understand things from a local authority perspective.

We know the legislative framework within which local authorities operate, and regularly advise on matters under the Local Government Act and associated legislation, including the Public Works Act, Local Government (Rating) Act and the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act. In addition to providing advice on statutory obligations, we are regularly instructed on litigation matters, including judicial review proceedings.

We are experienced in tangata whenua and Treaty of Waitangi issues, having advised local rūnanga, and having acted in Māori litigation from the Māori Land Court to the Privy Council.  We also advise on governance issues, including proposed co-government arrangements between local authorities and iwi.

To read the most recent edition of our Local Government Update newsletter, please click here.  You can subscribe to this newsletter here

Recent Projects

  • Advising Environment Canterbury and Environment Southland on contractual issues, intellectual property, and general commercial law matters.
  • We are the lead legal provider for both Environment Canterbury and the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy Partners, including acting for the UDS Partners in the High Court and Court of Appeal in relation to earthquake recovery decisions by the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery.
  • We have undertaken a comprehensive review of delegations by a local authority, including those under the Resource Management Act and Local Government Act. The review involved identifying the delegable powers and functions of a regional council under those acts, comparing them with the council's existing delegations, advising where amendments were required, as well as areas where the council should consider having additional delegations in place.
  • Our team has advised a local authority on whether its parallel consultation process met the requirements of the Local Government Act. We combined our pragmatic commercial experience to the local government context to ensure that the Council could still carry out its necessary work whilst complying with its statutory requirements.
  • We are experienced in reviewing and providing advice on council documents (such as meeting agendas and minutes) and regularly brief councillors and commissioners on local government issues.
  • Advised Environment Canterbury on the Local Government Act requirements to be met in the promulgation of a bylaw, including notification, the special consultative procedure, the hearing procedure and decision making. We reviewed the bylaw at various stages of its development, assisted with the preparation of the public notices, and provided advice on the scope and content of the bylaw. We also undertook a review of the bylaw to assess potential judicial review risk.
  • We regularly advise on the disclosure of official information and procedural requirements under LGOIMA and liaise with the Ombudsman's Office on disputed information requests. We also advise on council's administrative law obligations, including actual and potential conflicts of interest and bias.
  • We advise on various development contributions issues, including providing advice in respect of a subdivision development by negotiating a more favourable outcome for our client.
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