Travis Tomlinson


Travis is a specialist procurement and transactional construction and infrastructure lawyer. He has advised in New Zealand and Australia on a range of complex and large-scale projects and capital works programmes delivered in the private and public sectors.

Recognised as a Next Generation Partner by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Travis is highly sought after by clients for his construction expertise. He advises various Ministries and Government organisations on large, complex works projects and investment programmes. His clients include the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Justice, Rau Paenga (formerly Ōtākaro), and Callaghan Innovation. He also advises international developers such as Hengyi Pacific and some of New Zealand’s largest private sector developers and organisations, including Kiwi Property Group, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Fulton Hogan, Metlifecare, and Hopper Developments.

Travis helps clients with their business case and procurement strategies and planning, tender processes, contract drafting and negotiations, project governance, and project administration. His experience covers a wide spectrum of industry sectors. He has detailed knowledge of the Government’s procurement rules and advises the public and private sector in relation to regulation and compliance.

He is an expert in all forms of procurement models. He advises on the full suite of tender and project documentation including New Zealand, Australian and International standards (such as the NZS391X and AS-suite, ACENZ CCCS, NZIA, FIDIC and NEC forms) and bespoke documentation.

Clients value Travis’ pragmatic approach to complex construction and infrastructure projects. One client says he is “an excellent commercial construction lawyer with a strong client focus, sharp technical skills and attention to detail and has the ability to provide real collaboration” – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021. Another client notes Travis is “approachable, accessible and a valuable part of our professional support team when needed” – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022.

Through his previous employment as legal counsel at Leighton Contractors in Melbourne, Travis gained unique insight into project delivery, risk, and global and project-specific insurances. He has an in-depth understanding of the Australasian private sector’s appetite for risk and its strategies to manage and mitigate these risks. This enables him to work closely with tender and project teams to identify the best value-for-money solutions for all parties.

Travis is a past elected Council Member for the New Zealand Society of Construction Law. He lectures the Construction Law paper at the University of Auckland Law School and is the lead lecturer for Law for Construction as part of the Master of Construction Management programme at the Auckland University of Technology. He has contributed to the Building and Construction chapter in LexisNexis Laws of New Zealand and has also played a contributing role in the re-write of New Zealand’s most widely used standard form construction contracts. Travis is a renowned thought leader and regularly presents at construction industry events.

Career highlights

Lead adviser on all aspects of Pae Raunga's (formerly Ōtākaro) multi-$billion earthquake rebuild ‘Anchor Projects’ in Christchurch. This has included the Metro Sports Facility, the Christchurch Convention and Exhibition Centre, and the public realm and infrastructure projects.

Advising on numerous Ministries and government organisations including: the Ministry for Primary Industries on its Interim and Permanent Plant and Health Quarantine projects, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Justice on its Innovative Courthouse programme, Ōtākaro Limited on the Anchor Projects for Christchurch's rebuild, and Callaghan Innovation on the redevelopment of the Gracefield Innovation Quarter.

Advising major aged care and retirement developers in the planning, procurement and delivery of retirement villages across New Zealand, including for Metlifecare, Bupa, and Hopper Developments.

Advising Kiwi Property on its shopping centre upgrade and investment programs in Auckland (Sylvia Park and New Lynn), Hamilton (The Base and Centre Place), Palmerston North (The Plaza), and Christchurch (Northlands).

Advising Fisher & Paykel on its East Tamaki campus redevelopment, including Buildings 4 and 5 and related capacity improvements and infrastructure projects.

Lead construction adviser to Tainui Group, one of New Zealand’s largest iwi organisations, on its enormous, nationally significant, Ruakura Superhub development at Hamilton. At 490 hectares, Ruakura Superhub is one of New Zealand’s largest multi-use developments.

Lead construction adviser to international developer, Hengyi Pacific, on all aspects of its procurement, construction, financing, and delivery of the 57-storey luxury ‘The Pacifica’ apartment tower in Auckland’s CBD. Achieving completion in 2021, this tower is New Zealand’s tallest mixed-use development.

  • Past Council Member, Society of Construction Law New Zealand
  • Past Member, Australian Society of Construction Law
Achievements and recognition
  • Next Generation Partner, Projects and Resources Management, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
  • Next Generation Partner, Construction, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
  • Tier 1 team, Construction, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
  • Band 1 team, Construction, Chambers Asia-Pacific
  • Recognised, Construction Projects and Infrastructure, Doyles Guide