Agriculture, forestry, fishing and food

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New Zealand’s land and sea products are celebrated around the world. We’re proud to play a part in this success.

We are proud to act for many of New Zealand’s leading primary sector businesses. Our advice stretches from paddock, orchard, forest, and ocean, through the growing, processing, packaging, and transportation systems, all the way to market, and ultimately to consumers globally. Our industry experience and our network of contacts ensure our clients stay at the forefront of the market.

We are one of only a few New Zealand law firms with a dedicated primary industries team, and a specialist forestry team. Both teams have been involved in many of the country’s major transactions, acting for both buyers and sellers of productive land and interests. On a day-to-day basis, we support our clients by negotiating, drafting and implementing distribution, supply management, service, outsourcing and franchise contracts.

We also provide comprehensive regulatory advice that spans all aspects of a product's "life span", including product standards, regulatory approvals, packaging, labelling, branding, advertising, fair trading, consumer guarantee laws and exporting. We provide product safety advice and assist our clients to instigate, carry-out and notify product recalls, and participate in related investigations.

Our extensive knowledge of the procedures and application of the Overseas Investment regime is a unique advantage when purchasing or selling land and forestry assets here in New Zealand.

The team can assist with all aspects of a transaction, including:

  • due diligence (both vendor and purchaser) and commercial risk identification
  • drafting and negotiating sale and purchase documentation
  • Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approvals
  • corporate and tax structuring
  • liaising with financiers and advisors
  • specialist drafting of agreement conditions, warranties and indemnities
  • ETS/carbon units advice
  • forestry consenting processes, access rights and logistics (rail/port)
  • supply contracts and forestry management agreements
  • working with Māori interests
  • harvesting issues
  • trade practices advice.

To provide our clients with excellent outcomes, we draw together specialists from our property, environment, corporate, funds management, finance, and tax teams to provide integrated commercial advice.

Recent highlights
New Zealand’s first ESG loan  

Acted for Synlait in entering the country’s first Environmental, Social and Governance linked loan, where the pricing is based off performance against an external ESG benchmark.

Industry collaboration and joint ventures  

Advised Z Energy Limited, Air New Zealand Limited, Genesis Energy Limited and Contact Energy Limited on the establishment of the DrylandCarbon Partnership – a limited liability partnership that invests in a geographically diversified forest portfolio to sequester carbon.

Advising industry participants on joint venture and partnering arrangements including the structure and establishment of the Red Meat Profit Partnership LP (RMPP), and the restructure of Overseer, a joint venture between MPI and FANZ.

Overseas Investment Act expertise  

Advising OneFortyOne Plantations on one of New Zealand largest OIO applications, guiding Japanese owned, PanPac Forest Products through the intricacies of the new process to receive the first standing consent for forestry acquisitions under the changes to the Overseas Investment Act.

Regulatory investigations

Guiding food manufacturers and food service businesses through Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) compliance investigations, including by assisting clients to conduct internal investigations, implement remedial measures, draft submissions, and engage with regulators to ensure effective resolution.

Export disputes  

Representing a seafood exporter in a dispute regarding a consignment of non-conforming seafood the company exported to China. This involved advising the client on the parties’ contractual and regulatory obligations in both countries, the merits of two separate insurance claims, and the merits of a potential claim for damages from its New Zealand-based supplier.

Helping strengthen grower ownership  

Advising world-leading horticulture company, Zespri on its targeted share issue and buy-back, as part of its strategically important industry realignment initiative.

Primary sector industry associations  

Advising a range of industry associations including Deer Industry New Zealand, the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand, and Beef + Lamb New Zealand on initiatives to support their respective industries.