Energy, Renewables & Natural Resources

With the drive towards decarbonisation and emission reduction, the energy sector is undergoing a rapid and comprehensive transition.

Traditional players are adapting their business models and new local and international entrants are investing heavily, particularly in renewables.

Simpson Grierson has long been regarded as a key legal adviser to the New Zealand energy and resources sector, and we are at the forefront of helping clients navigate the changing landscape.

We assist clients to develop projects, from financing, planning and consenting to operational and regulatory issues, and to navigate regulatory developments. Our ability to build relationships with key stakeholders, including iwi and broader community interests, is an important aspect of our service.

Electricity including renewables

We advise electricity sector participants on a range of procurement and supply arrangements, product and distribution arrangements, market rules and regulatory and compliance issues. We have particular expertise in key operational and regulatory areas such as the Transmission Pricing Methodology, Power Purchase Agreements, and the Electricity Industry Participation Code.

We are heavily involved in the growth of New Zealand’s renewable energy sector, advising on a growing number of new solar and wind generation projects. We are also specialist advisers on the Emissions Trading Scheme which is increasingly relevant to power usage and pricing.

Oil & gas, and minerals

For upstream clients, we engage with New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals (the Government regulator) and advise on the applications process, permitting and royalty regimes under the Crown Minerals Act. We have particular experience in obtaining marine consents.

Work Highlights

Electricity, including Renewables

Lodestone Energy

We advised on all aspects of the development of New Zealand’s largest solar power project, which will see utility-solar farms constructed in five locations delivering a total of 373GWh.


We advise Transpower on a range of regulatory and market issues, including the drafting of the new transmission pricing methodology.

Decarbonisation project

We advised a large corporate on the procurement, power purchase and network connectivity aspects of a major electrification project as part of its decarbonisation programme.

Oil & Gas, and Minerals


We have advised OMV over many years on its New Zealand oil and gas portfolio, including development of the Pohokura field, the sale of Pohokura gas, renegotiation of the Maui field arrangements, access arrangements for the Maui pipeline, Maari oil project and general joint venture issues.

We have acted for OMV in Environment Protection Authority hearings, successfully obtaining marine consents under the EEZ Act. We also advised on its US$578 million acquisition of Shell’s upstream oil and gas business in New Zealand.

New Zealand Oil and Gas

We advise on its oil and gas portfolio including Kupe development and gas sales matters, sale of its Kupe interest to Genesis Energy, Tui exploration and other exploration prospects.

Beach Energy

We advised Beach Energy with obtaining marine consents under the EEZ.

Chatham Rock Phosphate

We advised Chatham Rock on obtaining New Zealand's first offshore mining permit.


Simpson Grierson is BP’s lead law firm in New Zealand. We advise on issues including coastal shipping, terminals and distribution, commercial supply, retail and independent dealers.