Property Requirements
The team advise a broad spectrum of property owners and developers on retail, industrial and warehousing, and urban development throughout New Zealand.  We provide specialist environmental due diligence for the sale and purchase of land and businesses, and the development of existing operations. 

This includes advice on the implications of district plan reviews, for example the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan and proposed Christchurch Replacement District Plan. 

Our team advises and acts on resource consent applications and private plan changes, for both applicants and submitters.  

We also provide other strategic advice, including on reverse sensitivity and Public Works Act issues.




Deadline extended for the compliance statement for the healthy homes standard

From the 1 July 2019 landlords were required to meet the new rules for the healthy home standards that related to insulation, ventilation, heating, moisture ingress, draught stopping and drainage.

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Big changes for tenants and landlords

Changes are coming to the controversial arena of residential landlord and tenant legal relationships. With 1 in 3 New Zealanders now renting, these changes will affect a significant proportion of the population. The Government has announced a suite of changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.

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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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What are the restrictions/limitations of a cross lease title?

A cross lease title was historically one of the two most common ways a property could be subdivided and contains rights of ownership and rights of use. New cross leases are not very common now. If you are looking to buy a property which is a cross lease title you should look carefully at the terms of the lease.

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Buying residential property in New Zealand – do you need consent?

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) placed greater restrictions on who can buy property in New Zealand on 22 October 2018. Most overseas people are now unable to buy homes in New Zealand (regardless of whether they already own property here), but some can request consent from the OIO.

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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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Earthquake-prone buildings: an update

On 1 July 2017, the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016 came into force. It amends the Building Act 2004 to include special provisions for earthquake-prone buildings and replaces the individual earthquake-prone building policies.

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National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity not just for Auckland

As foreshadowed in the 2016 Budget announcement, the Government has released the proposed National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity (NPS UDC) for consultation. What might surprise many is that it is not just set to address the problem in the Auckland region, but Tauranga, Hamilton, Queenstown and Christchurch are also grouped in the "High Growth Urban Area" category.

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Please sir, may I have a certificate of compliance?

What is a certificate of compliance? • A consent authority issues a certificate of compliance under section 139 of the Resource Management Act 1991 ("RMA") to confirm that an activity can be done lawfully in a particular location without a resource consent (i.e as a permitted activity). A certificate of compliance is treated as a resource consent and provides certainty to a resource user that their activity does not require a resource consent.

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To approve or not to approve; that is the question.

What is a written approval? The resource consent process under the Resource Management Act 1991 ("RMA") provides an opportunity for certain persons affected by an activity seeking consent, to become involved in the decision-making process. A consent authority is required to notify adversely affected persons of the application for consent. Those affected persons are then entitled to lodge a submission in support or opposition to the application. Anyone who has lodged a submission can bring evidence and be involved in the hearing of a resource consent application.

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6 months or bust

The new six-month consent processing time frames will be introduced on 3 March 2015 when Part 3 of the Resource Management Amendment Act 2013 (the "Amendment Act") comes into force. This will have a significant impact on the resource consent process, which has been overhauled in an attempt to make the entire procedure more efficient and provide a degree of certainty to applicants. Although these amendments were originally proposed to hasten "medium-sized projects" the amendments now apply across the board to all resource consent applications.

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AEE's and the need to get it right - watch this space

The litigation regarding noise associated with New Zealand Windfarms Limited's Te Rere Hau wind farm continues, with leave granted by the High Court for Palmerston North City Council to appeal to the Court of Appeal (Palmerston North City Council v New Zealand Windfarms Limited [2013] NZHC 2654, 11 October 2013 Williams J.).

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Existing Use Rights and The Christchurch Rebuild

Existing use rights under the Resource Management Act (RMA) have an important role to play in the Rebuild of Christchurch.

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Queenstown – A Resource Management Hotspot: Shotover Park Case Note

Queenstown has become a hotspot, not only for adventure tourism, but also resource management litigation. In a recent article, we discussed caselaw involving two resource consent applications to build a Pak'nSave and a Mitre 10 Mega at Frankton Flats, Queenstown (the "Consent Cases"). A further development has emerged in a related High Court appeal.

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The Queenstown Central Cases - The Meaning of "Minor" and The Assessment of Non-Complying Activities

The recent decisions of the High Court in Queenstown Central Ltd v Queenstown Lakes District Council have highlighted developments in fundamental principles related to resource consent applications for non-complying activities, the definition of "the environment", and the meaning of the word "minor".

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Do Council's owe a Duty of Care when Issuing S 224 Certificates?

The Courts have recently looked at the issue of whether a Council owes a duty to take reasonable care in issuing a section 224 certificate and ensuring registration of a consent notice under the Resource Management Act 1991.  The outcome of these proceedings may have important consequences for local authorities.

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Reliance on bare or bald assertions: a one-way ticket to a certificate of non-compliance

Recent litigation has seen the High Court provide a timely reminder to consent authorities about the scope of their obligations when processing applications for Certificates of Compliance. As the decisions show, these obligations, if left unfulfilled, can result in costly, time consuming judicial review proceedings to the eventual detriment of applicants, consent authorities and affected third parties.

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CERA Acquisitions for Anchor Projects

The Christchurch Central City Recovery Plan could result in the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority compulsorily acquiring large tracts of the central city for the Anchor Projects.

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Compulsory Acquisition in the Central City

Many landowners in the central city have now received letters from CERA, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, informing them that their land in the central city has been designated for Anchor Projects under the Central City Recovery Plan.  This article describes the processes of designation, acquisition and compensation under the CER Act.

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Councils' Duty of Care to Purchasers of Subdivided Land

The High Court at Greymouth has recently found that a council does have a case to answer where it incorrectly certifies conditions of subdivision have been met and a subsequent purchaser of the land relies on those certifications.

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The Christchurch CBD Blueprint: Resource Management Issues

The blueprint for the Central City has been released, so what does it mean – particularly if you own property in the Central City?  How does it affect existing activities in the new zones?

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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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