Real estate

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There’s a lot at stake in complex real estate transactions. Trust us to help you navigate them.

Our Real Estate team, ranked Tier 1 by independent international legal directory The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, is one of the most commercial and experienced in New Zealand. 

We work with you to identify practical options to achieve your objectives; our objective is to help you succeed. 

We advise international and domestic clients on the most significant and complex real estate transactions in New Zealand. Our clients include land and property developers, property investors, government agencies, landlords, property managers, and tenants. With expertise in commercial, residential, retail, agriculture and forestry transactions, we have the depth of knowledge you need to realise your real estate ambitions.

We are experts in New Zealand’s foreign direct investment regime, the Overseas Investment Act, helping overseas clients obtain Overseas Investment Office (OIO) consent for their acquisitions of various and diverse land interests.

We are also the lead legal adviser to the New Zealand Government on a number of important government workstreams, including its housing developments and initiatives, quarantine developments, and water infrastructure reforms. We have deep expertise in public/private projects and are adept at helping both public and private clients navigate complex contractual arrangements with their public or private sector counterparties.

We also work alongside our firm’s other practice areas to provide seamless advice including on construction, environmental planning, project structuring, tax, finance, disputes and insolvency. As a member of the MinterEllison Legal Group, our firm has a global network of offices so we can connect you with experts to assist with your global property needs. Our integrated service approach is recognised by clients as the most effective way to achieve commercial objectives while restricting costs and meeting critical deadlines.

Our expertise covers:
  • acquisitions and divestments (including sale and lease back arrangements)
  • property finance 
  • property due diligence
  • Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approvals
  • major development and infrastructure projects
  • commercial subdivisions
  • leasing (commercial, industrial, retail and other) and property management
  • forestry 
  • aged care and health
  • hotels
  • alternative forms of property ownership
  • crypto-conveyancing
  • Public Private Partnership (PPP) developments
  • property-related insolvency matters 
  • Māori land issues, including Te Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi obligations
  • real estate disputes.


The team are excellent to deal with. They are responsive, and provide timely and pragmatic commercial solutions. They have no problem handling complex and sophisticated issues. Chambers Asia-Pacific 2023


Recent highlights

Advising major national retirement village operator Metlifecare in its acquisitions and developments, including the recent purchase of six North Island sites from The Selwyn Foundation.

Synlait canning facility, sale and leaseback

Advising listed company Synlait Milk Limited on the divestment and lease of its high-tech canning facility in South Auckland. This included preparing a bespoke triple-net lease tailored to Synlait’s specific needs for ongoing operations.

IKEA New Zealand

Acting for the Ingka Group on its entry into New Zealand and the acquisition/development of its first flagship IKEA store in Auckland, including obtaining OIO consent and negotiating its contractual arrangements for the purchase of a site and development arrangements with the vendor.

Brookfield DCI Data Centers

Acting for DCI Data Centers on its site procurement and datacentre developments in New Zealand, including OIO clearance and negotiations with the local authority on consenting and development issues and approvals.

OneFortyOne Plantations Holdings

Advising OneFortyOne Plantations Holdings on its acquisition of 100% of the shares in Nelson Forests Limited from Nelson Properties Limited. The transaction involved complex property issues, as the deal comprised both freehold land and forestry rights from the Crown over land which is being returned to Māori pursuant to a redress settlement process.

Advising on key government housing initiatives

Assisting key client Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities:

  • on the Crown underwrite for “off the plans” KiwiBuild homes; and
  • on the establishment of the shared ownership scheme, First Home Partner. 

Acting for:

  • the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development on its land for housing programme throughout the lifecycle of a development project; and  
  • Te Tumu Paeroa (the Māori Trustee, a statutory trustee appointed to hold and manage Māori land and affairs on Trust) on housing projects and pathways to ownership programmes to support Māori to access affordable housing. 
Large-scale tenant portfolios

Acting for multiple large-scale tenants across New Zealand.  We are adept at managing large tenant portfolios. Our experience in managing the business as usual allows us to add real value to the portfolios and to deal with portfolio-wide issues such as seismic and COVID-19 on an efficient and proactive basis.

Transfer of settlement lands for Ngāti Tūwharetoa (BOP)

Acting on transfer of settlement lands subject to Crown Forestry Licence (CFL) and Forestry Rights to Harvard University Pension Fund (which is managed in New Zealand by Kaingaroa Timberlands Partnership) and other investors including Central North Iwi. Advice required addressing integrated forestry access network, wāhi tapu rights, and coordination with adjoining Ngāti Awa hapū.