Which techniques are typically used by international counterparties in New Zealand to overcome what appears to be an insurmountable obstacle?
It’s common for New Zealand negotiators to ‘park’ or at least slow discussions down when seemingly intractable issues arise. Stepping back further consider the issue from differing angles is considered prudent to business practice.
Kiwis pride themselves on the nation’s ‘No 8 Wire’ mentality, which essentially means that there is a solution to everything. In this vein New Zealanders are very good at thinking outside of the box, and offering alternative commercial options or solutions. But this can take time, and normally a transaction will not be signed off until ALL material commercial issues are in fact resolved. ‘Agreements to agree’ at a later date are anathema to New Zealand corporate advisors.
If alternative solutions are not immediately achievable, Kiwi companies – particularly larger corporates – may agree to resolve them by reference to selected experts (including an international arbitral-equivalent panel process) but again, typically the business owner or senior managers will want to have the final say in any material decision making. This is a unique geo-political aspect of New Zealand businesses which must be understood by all cross-border negotiations and their advisors dealing in New Zealand.
Mark Copeland Lawyers – Specialists in Commercial and Rural Law