Transportation, Shipping and Logistics

Home Expertise Transportation, Shipping and Logistics

Moving strategic goals forward

Transportation plays a vital role in the economy, carrying goods to consumers, and moving people, across the country and the world. Every day is a new challenge for transportation organisations as they work hard to run their services safely and on time.

When facing regulatory or legal challenges, our clients require advisers who are as focused and consistent as they are in their business. With intimate knowledge of the challenges facing transportation firms today, whether they need planning approvals for a future project, are looking to finance a new project, need strategic corporate/ commercial advisory or begin operating in a new regulatory space, we have the specialist skills to deliver.

Our team has worked on some of the most significant transportation projects and for clients such as KiwiRail, Port of Auckland, Auckland International Airport and New Zealand Bus.


With years of experience covering a broad range of legal issues in the aviation industry, we have acted for national and international airlines, airport operators and aircraft lessors.

Our trusted team helps clients manage regulatory issues, including obligations under the Civil Aviation Act, Resource Management Act, regulation of landing charges and airport price setting processes.

We assist with aircraft procurement, leasing, financing as well as divestment. Delivering for clients in matters involving competition law, trade law, corporate law, planning and environment law, and employment law, we bring an industry focused approach to all our aviation clients.

Our experience includes advising:

  • Auckland International Airport and the NZ Airports Association on the regulatory control provisions of the Commerce Act.
  • Auckland International Airport on the planning approvals required for its proposed second runway and development of airport-owned land to the north for business activities. 
  • On a wide range of issues under the Civil Aviation Act, including law reform and compliance with rules.
  • Airports on process and methodologies for establishing airport landing charges.
  • On international aviation licensing matters, including alliance authorisations.

Ports and Shipping

Since the beginnings of our firm in the 19th century, we have represented port operators and maritime clients and today, we continue our strong tradition in shipping with experts in maritime law. We pride ourselves on the quality of our advice, as well as bringing the international experience needed in this truly global industry.

Our shipping expertise draws from our collaborative team which represents clients in relation to charters, berths and access arrangements, dry-docking, upgrades and refurbishment projects, planning and other environmental approvals, marine pollution (including oil spills, dumping and discharge of ballast water), disputes over cargo loss, damage or delay, collision, salvage and all aspects of admiralty practice and procedure.

Our experience includes advising:

  • Port of Auckland on the full range of legal and regulatory issues affecting its business, including advising on planning and environmental matters, employment and health and safety, corporate advisory and disputes. 
  • Cook Straight ferry operator, InterIslander, in relation to its chartering and drydocking arrangements, ports / berths access (including in relation to the once proposed port at Clifford Bay), lengthening of the Aratere and refurbishment of the Kaitaki, and on various matters relevant to the operation of one of the most crucial links between the North Island and South Island.
  • A commuter and tourism ferry operator in Auckland in relation to its strategic contracts.

Land Transport

Land transport forms a key part of New Zealand's infrastructure and our dedicated land transport team advises on both road and rail transport.

We offer environment, planning & natural resources experts along with specialists from our corporate/commercial advisory, finance and public law teams. Clients can rely on our team’s advice, and get on with the business of moving people and goods across New Zealand. 

Land transport is subject to a complex regulatory framework, including legal obligations imposed by the Carriage of Goods Act 1979, New Zealand Railways Corporation Act 1981, Railways Act 2005, Land Transport Act 1998, Land Transport Management Act 2003, and Government Roading Powers Act 1989, within the wider framework set by the Resource Management Act and the Local Government Act 2002.

Our experience includes:

  • Bus and Coach Association in relation to the introduction and implementation by local purchasing authorities and New Zealand Transport Agency of the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) and associated funding and service arrangements.
  • New Zealand Bus on the acquisition and implementation of new fuel-agnostic hybrid technology for urban transport – this deal was a finalist in the 2016 New Zealand Law Awards Consumer Media & Tech Deal of the Year.
  • KiwiRail on matters that cover the full range of operations and more strategic initiatives, including a corporate review and balance sheet restructure involving the vesting of more than $1 billion of railway assets by way of statutory vesting order, the procurement of $800 million of new metro rolling stock and associated depot (new construction) and services, long term bilateral access agreements to the rail network and multilateral Common Access terms, and construction alliance arrangements, as well as in respect of the realignment of its NIMT through Otaki and the rebuild after the Kaikoura earthquake. 
  • KiwiRail on the district and regional planning frameworks applying to its existing and future infrastructure, including in relation to the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan and the Proposed Christchurch Replacement District Plan. 
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