Travis Tomlinson

Partner - Construction and Infrastructure

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, Ōtākaro Limited, 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.

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Professional background

Recent work

Canterbury Earthquake Rebuild

Lead adviser on all aspects of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority’s (Ōtākaro Limited) $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.

Government construction

Travis advises 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; and Callaghan Innovation on the redevelopment of the Gracefield Innovation Quarter.

Retirement / Aged Care Developments

Advising major Aged Care and Retirement developers in the planning, procurement and delivery of retirement villages across New Zealand. Travis is involved in the procurement of some of the largest villages in New Zealand including for Metlifecare, Bupa, and Hopper Developments.

Retail developments

Advising Kiwi Property Group in relation to 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).

Tainui Group - Ruakura Superhub

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.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare campus redevelopment

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

Hengyi Pacific (The Pacifica)

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.


  • 2007, New Zealand


  • LLB (Hons), BCom, University of Canterbury


  • Past Council Member, New Zealand Society of Construction Law
  • Past Member, Australian Society of Construction Law


  • Business Case Development
  • Construction
  • Infrastructure
  • Major Projects
  • Procurement and Contracting Documentation (tender forms and the full suite of project contracts)
  • Procurement Strategy and Planning
  • Risk Allocation Settings


  • Ranked as a Next Generation Partner – Projects and Resource Management and Real Estate and Construction, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
  • Partner in MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ internationally recognised Band 1 (Chambers Asia-Pacific) and Tier 1 (The Legal 500 Asia Pacific) Construction team