Posted by Aidan Tattley on January 20 2021 in News

Many economic predictions have missed the mark in 2020, and no doubt there will be many more go the same way, in the everchanging and unpredictable environment last year proved to be, along with evolving situations abroad. In the uncertainty, there are a few things which are unavoidable, including, the fact that we are in a recession. Also, arguably, systematic underinvestment in infrastructure nationally over an extended period.


This leads to growth opportunity by improving/upgrading our infrastructure. A road trip north of Auckland will quickly illustrate the need for upgrades to some of our key roads and infrastructure. There are projects in train.

Illustrative Projects

Some examples of the projects underway, include the following:

  • Puhoi to Warkworth
  • SH 16 Safety Improvements
  • Airport to Botany rapid transit
  • Wellington Northern Corridor
  • Takitimu North Link
  • Northern Pathway
  • Whangarei to Port Marsden Highway


There will be challenges in implementation e.g. funding and labour. In addition, the projects and infrastructure upgrades may require additional land either temporarily for construction/construction access etc or permanently. In most cases this land is held privately.

What it may mean for you

We make a few high-level observations in the event you are the owner of land required for infrastructure:

  1. Process - Once a project has reached sufficient maturity designations will be prepared and landowners notified, with such requirements ordinarily being under the Public Works Act 1981 (PWA). For more background on the land acquisition/compensation/PWA processes see our previous article by clicking here, or give us a call.
  2. Outcomes – In most cases, the result will be that your land, or an interest in your land is acquired. This may be simply a piece of your land, but it could include your home, farm, business premises, prized gardens, premium grazing land or any combination to enable and progress a variety of different works or infrastructure such as road/safety improvements, cycleways, services, stormwater/wastewater management and many more. We work with you to step you through the process and to ensure the compensation package is fair.
  3. Overarching principle – One of the key factors to remember is that these are your private property rights being required. With such rights in New Zealand having great importance. As a country, we need the infrastructure to proceed, however, consideration must be given to each landowner along the way.

If you have any questions, would like to discuss the above further or your land has been notified, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Richard Hatch | Partner |

Dasha Kovalenko | Associate |

Aidan Tattley | Solicitor |

Neeru Kesry | Legal Executive |

This paper gives a general overview of the topics covered and is not intended to be relied upon as legal advice.