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25 June 2021
Can building contractors be employees?

A recent Employment Court case has shown that even if a builder is considered a contractor, in reality, they might be an employee.

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25 June 2021
Fair Pay Agreements on the horizon

The Government is introducing Fair Pay Agreements, and as one commentator puts it, it could be “the biggest shake-up in the employment sector for decades.”

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2 June 2021
Changes for succession law afoot

Succession law, which governs who your property might pass to upon your death, is likely up for some big changes, following a Law Commission review and recommendations.

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2 June 2021
Law Commission recommends updates to DNA forensic analysis law

The law governing forensic DNA analysis was passed in 1995. Now it might be time to see changes in how it's used for legal purposes.

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13 April 2021
Property managers' mistakes can be binding on landlords

Property managers' mistakes can be binding on landlords in the right circumstances. So if you're a landlord, it pays to choose that property manager carefully.

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13 April 2021
Are Uber drivers employees or contractors?

Uber drivers are often treated as contractors - but are Uber drivers employees in reality? And what does that mean for employers and contractors in other businesses?

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16 December 2020
Trusts: how have they changed in 2021

The first major trust law reform in 70 years takes effect on 30 January 2021. If you have a family trust, here’s a round-up of the changes you need to know about.

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16 December 2020
Should bosses be able to spy on workers working from home?

As technology advances and working situations change, the fictional world of 1984 becomes ever-more a reality. So what are the privacy considerations for employers and employees?

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14 December 2020
New Privacy Act changes now in place

Thanks to technology, privacy law is undergoing rapid change. The new Privacy Act aims to create greater privacy protection for individuals, and place new obligations on businesses.

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16 November 2020
A new evolution in New Zealand law from the Peter Ellis case

In New Zealand, criminal appeals typically end if the person seeking the appeal dies. But a recent Supreme Court decision suggests this may no longer be the case.

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21 July 2020
Should bosses be able to spy on workers working from home?

We’ve all watched or read stories about surveillance culture; tales like George Orwell’s 1984, in which Big Brother can watch your every move. As technology advances and working situations change, that fiction becomes ever-more a reality. The latest opportunity for that to grow was during worldwide COVID-19 lockdowns, in which employers looked for ways to keep […]

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20 July 2020
A new evolution in New Zealand law from the Peter Ellis case

In New Zealand, criminal appeals typically end if the person seeking the appeal dies. The outcome wouldn’t impact them, as far as the law is concerned. So when Peter Ellis died in September last year, it seemed unlikely that the appeal the Supreme Court had granted him would proceed. Now it seems it could. "Wellington […]

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3 July 2020
Contractor or employee? It's not always clear

In Summary A recent decision of the Employment Court demonstrates that no matter what parties may have agreed initially, a supposed independent contractor may be considered an employee if they don’t enjoy independence and autonomy, and if they’re closely integrated with the business paying them. It’s a reminder to be careful in how you approach […]

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16 April 2020
Do commercial tenants still need to pay full rent during COVID-19 lockdown?

The COVID-19 lockdown has introduced challenges for both commercial tenants and commercial landlords. Many commercial tenants are struggling to pay rent. Many have questioned whether they should even have to pay rent for properties they cannot access legally. It’s not easy for many landlords, either. If they lose tenants, or aren’t receiving normal levels of […]

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15 April 2020
Legal advice for Christchurch businesses during COVID-19

Throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, we’ve been busy providing individuals and businesses with legal advice and support. Some of it is the usual, but most relates in some way to COVID-19 and the law. In particular, there are a lot of issues Christchurch businesses will need to consider about COVID-19 and its impacts. Here are some […]

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15 April 2020
Wills, Affidavits, Declarations and Signing Contracts During COVID-19

UPDATED 1 May 2020 The law never stops - but sometimes it needs to do things a little differently. That’s why law firms like ours are working remotely through the COVID-19 lockdown. It’s also why the New Zealand legal fraternity has adapted the way it administers wills, enduring powers of attorney and oaths, declarations and […]

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23 March 2020
We're working remotely through COVID-19

As New Zealand moves to level 4 of the COVID-19 Alert System, we're still available for you, with our team working remotely. It's an unprecedented time for us all, and we know many of you have questions and needs when it comes to your legal arrangements, both business and personal. Rest assured, we're all still available […]

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19 March 2020
COVID-19 Coronavirus and the Law: what you need to know

We hope you and yours are faring well amid the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak. We remain open as normal, and operating in accordance with Ministry of Health recommendations. (You’ll have seen a lot of messages like this recently, so we’ve tucked the key details about our operations at the bottom of this.) We know there’ll be […]

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31 May 2018
Cyberbullying and the law in NZ: Harmful Digital Communications Act

Bullying, harassment and abuse are sadly nothing new, and they’ve long gotten people on the wrong side of the law. But the internet and other forms of digital communication have opened up all sorts of new opportunities for those negative forms of communication to rear their ugly heads in ways the law didn’t necessarily account […]

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24 May 2018
Budget 2018: tax impacts for business

The 2018 Budget is perhaps most notable for things it’s not doing, such as much towards helping first home buyers. But there are a few tax developments which will impact businesses: increased backing for IRD to pursue company tax returns, GST collection from offshore suppliers of low-value goods, and tax incentives for research and development. […]

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20 May 2018
Budget 2018: no changes for first home buyers

While Labour was vocal on the campaign trail about helping people into their first home, there’s not much for those people to get excited about in this year’s Budget. There are no direct initiatives to help prospective first home buyers in Canterbury, though there are a few measures which will help some in other parts […]

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18 May 2018
Budget 2018: what’s in it for Christchurch?

This year’s Budget offered up few surprises overall. It was no different in the areas relating to Christchurch earthquake recovery. A number of new initiatives received funding, but most had already been announced in the past few months. Still, we’re pleased to see that the coalition is following through with these promises. Christchurch needs Government […]

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3 April 2018
Prenuptial agreements: should you get one?

Prenuptial agreements are becoming a more popular option for couples around the world—though they're not always for everyone.  Is getting one the right call? Well, it's different for everyone of course—but what's important is that people talk about it. Because though prenuptial agreements sometimes have a bit of a stigma, they're actually a really straightforward […]

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12 March 2018
Smart Contracts: the way of the future for New Zealand business?

Smart contracts are a logical next step for business. Low-cost, transparent, efficient, and automatic? Why wouldn’t you sign up? But as with any new technological development, it’s about using it wisely, so you or your business can reap the benefits—and avoid any speed bumps. Think about how you carry out your business, and your personal […]

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27 February 2018
What happens if I die without a will in New Zealand?

Wills are something every New Zealand adult should have. Wills allow you to say what you want to happen to your property after you die—even though you won’t be there to say it yourself. And yet every year, thousands of New Zealanders die without a will. Estimates suggest that more than half of New Zealanders […]

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15 February 2018
Bitcoin: A good investment? Currency of the future? Or just a flash in the pan?

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are growing as people jump on the bandwagon in New Zealand and elsewhere. But are they a good investment? What are the risks? And what about Bitcoin tax in New Zealand?

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6 February 2018
Online contracts: how you can enforce them, and how they can be enforced against you

Online contracts are something you're party to every day. As a business or consumer, it’s really important to understand how they work—so you know how to make a good one, or to avoid being treated unfairly.

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31 January 2018
90-day trial periods remaining for small businesses; but other parts of employment law changing

90-day trial period changes are afoot, along with other changes to New Zealand employment law. Here's what the law changes mean for your business.

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30 January 2018
3000 EQC claims are still unresolved: we’re doing our bit to change that

RNZ’s Checkpoint carried a sobering story Monday evening. Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Megan Woods revealed that 3000 EQC claims are still unresolved seven years on after the February 2011 earthquake. A lot of earthquake claims and repairs are complex. They do take time, and a lot of people have made it through successfully. But it’s […]

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24 January 2018
Paid parental leave increases: will the PM miss out?

Congratulations to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford on the news that they are expecting their first child in June. Will that mean they're eligible for the extra paid parental leave that was passed by Parliament last year? Probably not–though there's a slim chance it might work out that way. Their case is a […]

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26 October 2017
Surrogacy in New Zealand

No Commercial Surrogacy Surrogacy is the conception method by which a woman agrees to carry a pregnancy for a different couple who will become the parents after the child’s birth. In New Zealand, it can be extremely difficult for couples who have trouble conceiving to move forward with a surrogacy arrangement. Surrogacy is legal in […]

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6 October 2017
Preparing for the Disputes Tribunal - What You Need to Know

Amount of Claim The Disputes Tribunal is a useful tool to determine a dispute that is up to $30,000. The purpose of the Tribunal is to provide for the litigation of disputes at a low cost. There must be a genuine dispute before the matter can be heard. It is important that you collect evidence […]

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23 August 2017
Are Your Terms of Trade Giving You the Protection You Think?

This is a question that Justice Nation was somewhat indirectly asked to decide in his recent decision in Thorn v United Steel Ltd [2017] NZHC 1865. The background can be set out relatively concisely. United Steel Ltd (“United Steel”) was approached by Mr Thorn to provide steel to one of his companies. As you would […]

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13 July 2017
Josh's Experience with Canterbury Legal

What made you want to own your own home? It's the classic Kiwi dream to own your own home. Aside from that, it is a good investment and I'd put it down to a few main reasons from a financial stand point. Having a roof over your head is a necessity and renting is a […]

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7 July 2017
Methamphetamine Affected Residences

P LABS The manufacturing and use of methamphetamine more commonly known as P or meth in residential homes has become a huge problem for New Zealand landlords and home owners. People exposed to even small amounts commonly experience rashes, headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue and shortness of breath. The research on the long term effects of […]

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23 September 2016
Litigation: an electronic future?

The Higher Courts have recently introduced a Civil Electronic Document Protocol (12 April 2016) as a guide to Counsel and the Courts. The Protocol is intended to encourage and facilitate the use of electronic documents for civil cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. The Protocol is perhaps the first steps […]

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23 September 2016
Construction Contracts Act 2002: New Amendments – Are you in the know?

Earlier this year, Parliament introduced a Bill to update and amend the Construction Contracts Act 2002. If you are in the construction industry there are several proposed changes that may impact you. The key changes proposed by the Bill are: Removing most differences between residential and commercial contracts, including requiring the same disclosures for commercial […]

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16 September 2016
Are you interested in investing in residential property in New Zealand? There may be tax consequences for you.

The Taxation (Bright-Line Test for Residential Land) Act 2015, took effect from 1 October 2015. The changes mean that if you buy and sell residential property within two years after 1 October 2015 any gains made during that period may be taxable. There are some exceptions. The new rules won’t apply to your main home, […]

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23 July 2016
Unit Titled Property? Body Corporate Rules?

You own a unit titled property on the ground floor. The tree in your back yard has grown so tall that it blocks the sun to your neighbour’s apartment on the first floor. Your neighbour complains to the Body Corporate Committee who then gives you written notice to remove the tree. Can the body corporate […]

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