Canterbury rebuild

Buddle Findlay has a long-established office in Christchurch run by staff with extensive local knowledge and contacts throughout the region.


Restoration of the City of Christchurch, and the wider Canterbury region, to a functioning and vibrant destination brings with it a set of unique challenges:

  • New infrastructure is required to service commercial, industrial and residential land and buildings

  • Economic recovery requires the redevelopment of manufacturing, retail and tourism sectors

  • Population movement has flow on effects for employment and health and safety

  • A changing natural environment means local resources must be carefully managed

  • Strategic planning, good governance and management are essential for progress

  • Significant insurance and finance requirements.

These challenges also present exciting opportunities for those investing in the future of Canterbury. Navigating a project in Canterbury during this phase of growth takes planning, creativity and specialist legal advice.

Our clients are actively involved with the financing, development and construction of large scale projects in Canterbury.  At a broader level we understand the way in which this region is adapting and planning for long-term change.  We advise key local authorities on matters relating to the rebuild, including the Christchurch City, Ashburton District, Hurunui District and Selwyn District Councils.  We also advised the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (now LINZ) on a wide range of legal issues.

As a national law firm with a long-established office in Christchurch, our staff have extensive local knowledge, contacts and experience throughout the region.

While adaptability is essential in the current environment, prior to the Canterbury earthquakes, our staff were already experienced in construction, insurance, employment, resource management, and commercial law.  Our rebuild team in Christchurch is supported by a wider group of national experts based in our Wellington and Auckland offices.

Work highlights

Advising the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority

on earthquake recovery matters, including the exercise of its powers under legislation

Advising the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority

on the acquisition of the residential red zone properties and the acquisition of the central city properties required for the anchor projects forming part of the Christchurch CBD rebuild

Assisting Selwyn District Council

with the largest industrial/business park development in New Zealand. At over 180 ha, the project has required Buddle Findlay to advise on multifaceted aspects including subdivisions, sales, leasing, acquisitions and consenting issues

Acting for Richard Diver/Countrywide Property Trust

in the acquisition and development of a number of high profile commercial properties in the Christchurch CBD

Advising Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU)

on the acquisition of large central city tracts of land for development and construction of anchor projects

Advising Christchurch City Council

on liability, risk and contracting issues arising from the Port Hills Earthquake Remediation project

Our team

Jan Etwell

Partner, Christchurch

Jan specialises in banking and finance, commercial and company law. Her experience includes acting as instructing solicitor…

  • DDI +64 3 371 3514
  • M +64 21 655 604


John Buchan

Partner, Christchurch

John specialises in corporate and commercial law and in particular, commercial property. He acts on a wide range of transactions…

  • DDI +64 3 371 3504
  • M +64 21 900 124


Julia Gabrielle

Partner, Christchurch

Julia is a commercial partner with a focus on a range of property transactions.  She has acted for both public and private sector…

  • DDI +64 3 371 3521
  • M +64 27 683 4373


Kelly Paterson

Partner, Christchurch

Kelly specialises in commercial litigation. She advises on a wide range of commercial litigation issues, including contract disputes…

  • DDI +64 3 371 3547
  • M +64 21 891 028


Mark Odlin

Partner, Christchurch
Board of Management

Mark specialises in corporate and commercial law and advises on a range of financial, commercial and corporate law matters, including…

  • DDI +64 3 371 3525
  • M +64 21 753 769


Olly Peers

Partner, Christchurch

Olly specialises in litigation and dispute resolution. Olly's experience and areas of interest include company law, contract law…

  • DDI +64 3 371 3568
  • M +64 21 881 463


Susan Rowe

Partner, Christchurch

Susan specialises in litigation, local government, insurance, industrial relations and health and safety. Susan currently advises…

  • DDI +64 3 371 3517
  • M +64 27 537 7784


Tony Wilkinson

Partner, Auckland

Tony has a highly regarded practice acting for public and private sector clients. He is the lead tax advisor for Buddle Findlay’s most…

  • DDI +64 9 358 7066
  • M +64 27 476 6587


Willie Palmer

Partner, Christchurch

Willie specialises in commercial litigation including construction, insurance and insolvency law. He has broad experience in…

  • DDI +64 3 371 3502
  • M +64 21 377 961