Local Government Finance

Our pre-eminent local government finance practice helps local authorities provide their communities with the local public services and infrastructure they need to prosper.

Our experience is second to none. Over the past few years, we have advised over 60 local authorities on their financing arrangements. 

Our experience covers all financing arrangements, including debt facilities, commercial paper programmes, receivables purchase programmes, derivative arrangements, LGFA finance and local authorities' participation in public private partnerships (PPPs).

We developed the financing documentation that is now the accepted standard documentation for borrowing by local authorities, and acted on the country's first-ever syndicated facility to a local authority.

Our local authority debt capital markets (DCM) experience is equally extensive, and includes advising the Auckland Transition Agency on the transfer of the merging local authorities' bond obligations to the new Auckland Council. Local Government New Zealand also turned to us to advise it on structuring the "bond bank" for local authorities.

We have been the lead legal adviser in many of the large infrastructure projects in New Zealand involving local authorities.

Work Highlights

Local Government Funding Agency

We advised the local government sector on the design and establishment of the Local Government Funding Agency (LGFA), and represent most local authorities on their ongoing financing arrangements with LGFA. We represented the shareholders of LGFA on the innovative 2020 restructuring of the LGFA programme to facilitate access to council-controlled organisations.

Infrastructure Funding and Financing Programme

We advised Treasury and the Department of Internal Affairs on a significant project to develop an innovative new model for funding and financing major infrastructure projects by local authorities.

We subsequently advised Treasury on the first transaction to be authorised under the Infrastructure Funding & Finance Act 2020, which will help deliver critical transport infrastructure projects for Tauranga City Council.

Auckland Council 

We advised Auckland Council on a number of its transactional banking arrangements, domestic debt issuances, and funding for major procurement transactions. These include its $1 billion syndicated standby facility (the first syndicated facility for a local authority in New Zealand), $4 billion retail bond programme, $500 million secured commercial paper programme, and $500 million medium-term note programme.


We advised local authorities on various public private Partnerships, including Auckland Council on the development and financing of Vector Arena (now Spark Arena) and the $1 billion above-ground redevelopment of the heritage Britomart site.

Dunedin City Treasury Limited

We advise Dunedin City Treasury Limited in connection with its $1.2 billion debt capital raising programme, including its bond programme, underwriting facilities and participation in LGFA.

Local authority bond issues

We have advised on retail bond issues for a range of local authorities, including Auckland Council, Manukau City Council and Tauranga City Council.