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Networks & Utilities

Simpson Grierson has a long tradition of advising across the network and utility sectors.

We understand the mechanics of the different market sectors. We advise clients on diverse issues including:

  • land access
  • Resource Management Act consents
  • network build
  • network interconnectivity
  • government regulation
  • access
  • price control rights
  • obligations for network providers.

We also advise on the structure of industry-based arrangements and co-operative investment and funding models, such as public private partnerships (PPPs).

Examples of our work

  • Transpower - day-to-day advice and major projects, including advising on:
    • major transmission upgrade projects (resource consenting, procurement and build contracts)
    • system operation issues arrangements (including negotiation of the long-term system operator contract with the Electricity Commission)
    • application of market rules and other regulatory requirements (including Electricity Governance Rules and targeted price control)
  • Local Fibre Companies (Enable Networks, UltraFast Fibre and Northpower Fibre) - all aspects of the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband including their wholesale services agreements with retailers, compliance with their agreements with Crown Fibre Holdings, undertakings given by the LFCs in favour of the Commerce Commission and issues arising out of their build programmes
  • Lines companies (including Vector, Counties Power and Northpower) - advising lines companies on a range of day to day services and major projects, including contractual and regulatory issues, sales and acquisitions of businesses and technology infrastructure
  • SmartCo - a joint venture between eight electricity lines companies to procure and deploy electricity “smart meters” which record and relay consumption information back to SmartCo via wireless telecommunications
  • Ministry of Economic Development (now MBIE) - structure of Crown Fibre Holdings and Invitation to Participate for the government's $1.5 billion Ultra-Fast Broadband Project
  • Kordia New Zealand - numerous projects including the acquisition and subsequent sale of Orcon, New Zealand's fourth largest internet service provider, issues around the trans-Tasman fibre optic cable project, and regulatory issues
  • Mercury (Mighty River Power) - a range of competition law issues
  • Te Māngai Pāho (the Māori broadcasting funding agency) - rollout and support of a national broadcasting contribution/distribution network enabling the sharing of broadcasts between Māori radio stations located throughout New Zealand