Planning Permission & Project Funding

Introduction
Many projects require planning permission from local or central Government. For example, most retail developments require Council permission under the RMA, while many other projects require permission from central Government bodies such as the EPA. Other projects may not need planning permission but instead rely on some degree of public funding to be financially viable.

We have an outstanding track record in helping clients gain planning permission or funding approval for some of the most significant projects in NZ, and can also help get your project off the ground. In addition, we regularly assist local and central Government to assess the merits of applications received for planning permission or funding approval. Please read the case studies below to get a better feel for how we can help you.

Case Study 1: Consent Renewal for NZ’s largest gas field (Maui)
The Maui gas field is the largest in NZ, and has been an abundant source of natural gas since the late 1970s. However, in 2015 the field’s owners (STOS) needed to apply for a new consent to extend operations for a further 35 years.

To assist, we were commissioned to estimate the likely financial and economic effects of future operations (should consent be granted). This was a critical piece of the puzzle because, absent a new consent, the field would have been closed, thereby foregoing the ability to extract and sell remaining reserves. Accordingly, a strong economic case was needed to facilitate the granting of consent renewal.

After an initial period of research, we created a framework to identify the data required to perform the underlying analysis. This was reviewed by the client, who then sent us the necessary data. We then created a first cut of the financial/economic modelling, which was circulated for feedback and review. Based on some useful feedback, the analysis was tweaked and we turned our attention to reporting.

The results of the analysis were written up into a clear and concise brief of evidence, which was subsequently presented to the EPA at a hearing in Wellington. The consent application was successful, and the field now has permission to keep operating for a further 35 years.

While our work was only one of many key inputs, it was instrumental in illustrating the wider public benefits of future operations, which in turn provided a key reason for consent renewal being granted. You can read a copy of our evidence here [download]

Case Study 2: Funding Approval for a $400 million hotel/conference facility in PNG
Papaua New Guinea (PNG) is a rapidly-developing country, which recently secured the rights to host APEC in 2018. If done right, hosting this event could help propel PNG onto the world stage. However, if done badly, it could significantly undermine progress made to date.

One key obstacle facing the country was that they did not have a hotel/conference facility that met the exacting requirements of APEC and its delegates. Accordingly, a local consortium proposed to develop a 5-star hotel and conference facility in Port Moresby, called Star Mountain Plaza, which was specifically-designed to meet APEC’s requirements.

While certain parts of the development would be self-sustaining, the convention centre was unlikely to be and therefore required funding assistance. To assist, we were commissioned to write a business case for the convention centre component. The project included detailed remote desktop research and analysis followed by face-to-face discussions with Government officials in PNG.

Detailed financial and economic modelling was also undertaken to establish the likely financial impacts on key project sponsors, while also establishing the wider benefits upon which public funding could be justified.

The work culminated in a concise yet comprehensive business case, which was successfully used to help secure significant Government funding toward the project. Construction has now commenced and is expected to complete by early 2018 in time for APEC.

Other Recent Projects
A sample of other recent projects include:

  • Gaining consent for a 15,000m2 GFA retail centre in Hamilton [download]
  • Providing evidence on the need for increased land supply in Auckland [download]
  • Gaining resource consent for PAK’nSAVE Queenstown [download]
  • Securing a plan change to extend the metropolitan urban limit in Auckland [download]