Project Description

We act for landowners affected by proposed compulsory land acquisitions (also known as land takes) under the Public Works Act 1981 (PWA).

The Public Works Act gives the Crown power to acquire land from private landowners for public works, such as roading / motorways, schools, aerodromes and railways. A specific process must be followed to ensure that the rights of landowners are protected. Landowners are entitled to have their reasonable legal and valuation costs reimbursed.

If you are impacted by a compulsory land acquisition of land under the Public Works Act, please contact Thorn Law.

How PWA Land Acquisitions Work

The Public Works Act is administered by Toitū Te Whenua (Land Information New Zealand). Compulsory land acquisitions under the Public Works Act are typically undertaken by local authorities, Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency), Auckland Transport (AT), and also network utility operators. Often, the acquirer uses accredited suppliers to conduct negotiations.

Compulsory land acquisitions can be very challenging and stressful for landowners. Thorn Law has successfully represented numerous landowners in a range of situations, including where they have objected to proposed acquisitions, where they have decided to negotiate an acquisition by agreement, where they have disputed the amount of compensation offered, and where the Crown’s offer back obligations have not been met.

We help you to understand the options available, the process involved and to secure proper compensation.  Above all, we ensure you are supported throughout the process.

If you’re facing a compulsory land acquisition, we can:

  • Help you understand your rights and entitlements
  • Identify and make objections to the proposals, or seek changes, to protect your interests
  • Involve qualified and experienced experts, including valuers and planners, to further your interests
  • Negotiate satisfactory compensation, including for stress/inconvenience and business losses and disturbance (if applicable)
  • Represent you in the Land Valuation Tribunal, Environment Court or High Court (as necessary)

Where there is a compulsory land acquisition, reasonable legal costs must be reimbursed by the acquirer.  In many cases, this means that our services to you may be cost-neutral.