A recent Employment Court case has shown that even if a builder is considered a contractor, in reality, they might be an employee.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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?
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.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
This is a question that Justice Nation was somewhat indirectly asked to decide in his recent decision in Thorn v United Steel Ltd  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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]