New tool aims to transform New Zealand’s commercial leasing

30 June 2015

A new resource launched tonight encourages tenants and landlords to join forces to create better performing, more energy efficient buildings.

The Performance Leasing Guide and Model Clauses (PDF) is a joint initiative between government and industry, developed by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), lawyers DLA Piper New Zealand, and the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC).

With model clauses that may be pasted directly into lease agreements, the Guide covers issues such as co-operation between tenants and landlords, energy use, water and waste, quality of the indoor environment and use of rating tools such as Green Star and NABERSNZ.

It was adapted from a resource produced by Sydney’s Better Buildings Partnership (BBP), a government / industry initiative. There it’s had a demonstrably positive impact; a recent leasing index showed two thirds of Sydney office leases contained best practice clauses, with many drawn directly from model clauses supplied by BBP.

EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill said the guide complemented other tools available to the commercial property sector such as NABERSNZ, the rating for office energy efficiency.

“Globally the trend is towards greater transparency about building performance, as both owners and tenants recognise the advantages of well-run, energy efficient spaces. Owners want lower operating costs and better asset value, while tenants want to be in spaces that support productivity and wellbeing.”

The Guide was adapted for the New Zealand market by DLA Piper New Zealand. Partner Justin March said it was intended to help landlords and tenants set clear expectations about building performance at the very beginning of the relationship.

“There is enormous advantage in taking this approach - it underpins an open, collaborative relationship where both parties get value. This is a very practical hands-on tool that should be immensely useful to anyone involved in lease negotiations.”

NZGBC Chief Executive Alex Cutler said operational issues had a huge bearing on building sustainability. “How we run and maintain our buildings, and how we behave in them, is critical to workplace comfort and long-term performance. Progressive, positive relationships between tenants and landlords are crucial in improving our building stock. This guide helps provide a framework for those discussions.

“We’re grateful to the Better Buildings Partnership to be able to adapt their ground-breaking resource. It’s been immensely positive working closely with EECA and DLA Piper NZ to bring this to the New Zealand market.”

In-depth master classes on best practice leasing, drawing on the guide and clauses, will be held in Wellington and Auckland on Friday 10 July 2015. For more information and to register see