Matt Yarnell Matt Yarnell

Matt Yarnell

Wellington Managing Partner

Public law

Matt heads Chapman Tripp's government sector group and co-leads the firm's Wellington-based commercial contracting team.

Specialising in government/commercial projects, Matt has experience across a range of legal and business areas including public sector procurement, property and ICT projects, and infrastructure project and advisory work. He has particular interest and expertise in government partnering with NGOs for the delivery of social services.

He has advised government agencies on matters ranging from day-to-day commercial contracting arrangements through to some of the most complex and novel procurement projects in the public sector.

Matt also has a background in structured finance law, which has seen him act on numerous cross-border lease and other structured finance transactions for Transpower and Spark.

Recent highlights

Has advised:

  • Te Puni Kōkiri on all aspect of its funding/relationship contracts with the three Whānau Ora Commissioning Agents who are responsible for identifying and investing in programmes aimed at enabling Māori and Pacific families to achieve their aspirations; and its 2020 pilot transactions to test more localised commissioning initiatives
  • Ministry of Health, New Zealand Green Investment Fund and Social Wellbeing Agency (formerly SIA) on approaches to funding and/or successfully procuring for better outcomes, including in a manner that both supports and enables innovation and reflects concepts of Te Ao Māori
  • Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency on a range of project and governance-related matters
  • Ministry of Health on the procurement, negotiation and documentation of pilot projects for the use of Social/Impact Bonds in New Zealand, an innovative tool for the delivery of social services where the government pays when results are achieved by an NGO service provider
  • New Zealand Customs Service on the re-negotiation of its contract arrangements with IBM relating to its Joint Border Management System
  • MBIE (formerly DBH) on its original design, development and roll-out across government of the Streamlined Contracting Framework for use by government agencies in contracting with NGOs
  • Southern Cross Cables on its network infrastructure build and operations, from project establishment and documentation, and (re)financings and restructurings (ongoing since 1998)
  • MBIE and Treasury on all aspects of the government's financial package to support the repair of leaky homes including the terms and conditions of advances to home owners, arrangements with territorial authorities and for associated Crown credit support.


  • Member of Chapman Tripp's board.

Matt's insights

See all insights

people walking through office

Impact investment poised for lift off

​Increasing investor interest, evolving data capability and rapid advances in markets are aligning to create the conditions for a growth surge in impact investment in New Zealand.

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auckland harbour bridge

Dealing to the infrastructure deficit

New Zealand’s sagging infrastructure is inhibiting the economy and our quality of life, in the form of gridlock, lost production, unaffordable housing, environmental degradation, and more...

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