Land acquisition

Help when land or property is acquired under the Public Works Act 1981

Fair Way’s Land Acquisition Resolution Service (LARS) is a free and independent mediation service.

It’s here to help landowners and homeowners and the Crown (New Zealand Government agencies, such as Waka Kotahi and LINZ) to reach agreements quickly during the land acquisition process.


Fair Way’s LARS mediation process gives you, as a landowner the opportunity to ask questions and share your perspective with Crown representatives if your land is being acquired. It allows you to learn about the project your land is required for and explore options together.

LARS enables you and the Crown to navigate these conversations with the support of an independent and skilled mediator. The goal is for you to reach agreement together.

It’s quick and easy to get started. Simply get in touch by:

How mediation works

Mediation allows you to explore options and reach an agreement together. It helps avoid extended discussions or proceedings at the Land Valuation Tribunal.

Mediation creates a safe environment for landowners to have constructive conversations with Crown representatives, and work through disagreements around compensation or other matters.

LARS is free for landowners impacted by projects that form part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme.

The LARS process

  • Get in touch

    You can get in touch by phone, email or online:

    Freephone: 0800 60 43 73
    Online: Register here

    Alternatively, the Crown may suggest the mediation, in which case Fair Way will make contact with you directly.

    Get in touch Process
  • Have a chat

    Talk to one of our Resolution Coordinators. They will guide you through the process, answer any questions and tell you more about mediation.

    We ask you for your details, then your Fair Way Resolution Coordinator sends you information about:

    • completing an agreement to mediate
    • choosing a mediator.

    After understanding your situation, we work with a Crown representative to ensure the property is in scope for this service.  Following that, we inform the Crown you wish to participate in mediation.

    Next, you choose a mediator from our panel of LARS mediators, which the Crown has pre-approved.

    Once a mediator is chosen and appointed, they contact you to understand the matter further and discuss the process.

    Note: If you have any special requirements (for example, if English is your second language, or if you have vision or hearing problems) let the Resolution Coordinator know as soon as possible so we can make suitable arrangements.

    Chat with us
  • Case conference

    A case conference is an opportunity to get things ready for the mediation. This is usually an online meeting where you join the mediator and a representative for the Crown.

    You can clarify the matters you want addressed during the mediation.

    The mediator organises the date, time and venue of the mediation. Usually, a venue close to the location of the property is selected so you can all meet together for the mediation, however this can be discussed as part of the case conference or initial chat.

    You can also arrange to have a representative, lawyer, valuer or support person attend the mediation. The mediation process is confidential, so anyone attending is asked to sign a confidentiality agreement.

  • Preparation for mediation (optional)

    If you like, a professional can help you prepare and develop strategies for the mediation. A single ‘preparation for mediation’ session can make a significant difference to how your mediation goes. This session is confidential and independent of the mediator and other parties involved in your dispute. Fair Way provides this service and it’s free for landowners. 

    Prepare process
  • Mediation

    You and the Crown’s representative/s meet with the mediator to explore resolution options together. This is a confidential and voluntary process where the mediator encourages everyone involved to:

    • ask questions
    • share perspectives
    • develop realistic options
    • reach agreement together.

    During the mediation, the mediator may speak with the parties together or separately. The mediation may last from a few hours to an entire day.

    Conciliation Mediation
  • Agreement

    If you reach an agreement, the mediator prepares a summary to sign. This agreement is made under section 17 of the Public Works Act 1981 and, as a public record, is not confidential.

    If an agreement on compensation isn’t reached, you can pursue a claim with the Land Valuation Tribunal.

    Agreement decision

Your mediator

At Fair Way, we are the experts in dispute resolution. What might seem impossible to resolve now, has a very high chance of being resolved with the support of a Fair Way mediator. You can choose your mediator from Fair Way’s panel of experienced mediators. Our mediators are entirely neutral and independent of the Crown and its representatives.