Corrs Chambers Westgarth has advised Fletcher Construction on the new prison at Wiri, New Zealand’s first major Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

The new 960-bed prison in Wiri, South Auckland, will be designed, financed, built, operated and maintained by the SecureFuture consortium on behalf of the New Zealand Department of Corrections and will focus on rehabilitation and making communities safer.

The SecureFuture consortium is made up of Fletcher Construction, who will design and construct the prison, Serco, who will operate it, Spotless Facility Services, responsible for maintenance, along with equity participants John Laing, InfraRed and The Accident Compensation Corporation. SecureFuture was also advised by Macquarie Capital. The net present value of the contract is worth approximately $840 million.

The project involved the integration of PPP principles from several jurisdictions, including the UK and Australia. The result was an innovative risk allocation that reflected New Zealand specific requirements whilst providing sufficient comfort for the international market so as to ensure that the project was bankable.

The project also involved a dynamic set of criteria that involved the interplay between custodial services with the core service delivery, a commitment to reduce recidivism and a broad set of output specifications that created challenges for delivery within a fixed price for a set date.

The Corrs team, led by Sydney partner Simon Ashworth and supported by associate Emmanuel Giuffre, advised Fletcher Construction from the early bid stage through to Financial Close in September 2012.

Corrs was able to draw on its considerable major projects and infrastructure experience and understanding of the key issues involved in PPPs, to deliver incisive legal and commercial advice to Fletcher and the novel PPP structure in New Zealand.

Simon Ashworth said, “This was an inspiring project to work on with the Fletcher team. Fletcher is the pre-eminent builder in the New Zealand market and it is highly appropriate that they should be at the forefront of the delivery of the next wave of infrastructure investment in New Zealand.”

About Corrs Infrastructure and Major Project Team

Corrs has a strong track record in the field of infrastructure and major projects, and has advised both government and the private sector on all aspects of these projects, including design and construction, operation, maintenance and finance. In particular, Corrs specialises in PPPs, and has extensive experience advising on PPPs in both the Australian and international market.

These projects recently include the Gold Coast Rapid Transit PPP, the Victorian Desalination PPP Project, the Adelaide Desalination Project, Brisbane’s AirportLink PPP, the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital PPP, the Ararat Prison PPP, the NSW Rolling Stock PPP and Corrs is soon to embark on the Victorian Men’s Prison PPP.

The members of the Corrs Infrastructure and Major Project team that worked on this project included partner Simon Ashworth, special counsel Jodie Burger, senior associate Tabitha Winton, associate Emmanuel Giuffre, lawyer Meredith Riley and paralegal Amanda Dunn.

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