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17 May 2024
Your 2024 Guide to New Zealand Law Changes

It is coming up to 6 months since the new government took office. Irrespective of where you sit on the political spectrum, the current coalition government has set the record for laws being passed ‘under urgency’ in the first 100 days of any MMP government in history. This means, like it or not, that there […]

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4 April 2024
Reinterpreting the Family Protection Act 1955: the problem with ‘moral duty’

In current New Zealand law, "moral duty" refers to the ethical obligation that a will-maker (the person creating a will) has towards their spouse or children. This obligation involves providing for the financial needs of family members in a manner that reflects societal expectations of fairness and familial responsibility. However, the exact definition and scope […]

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4 April 2024
Legislative Limbo: Confronting the Deepfake Menace in New Zealand

What is a deepfake? A deepfake is essentially where another person’s characteristics have been digitally altered to represent that of someone else. Their use is often tied with deceptive practices or malicious acts and for spreading false information through the use of someone else’s identity. No longer just the domain of expert digital creators. Deepfake […]

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6 March 2024
Decoding Prenups: The Ultimate Roadmap to Understanding

You’ve just entered a new relationship. Congratulations! But what if you and your partner come into the relationship with different assets that you both wish to keep, should you later decide to go your separate ways? This is where a Contracting Out Agreement, more commonly known as a “prenup”, comes into play. In a nutshell, […]

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20 December 2023
Bank of Mum and Dad Nightmare: Lady Loses $50k

While a very sad story that relates to family relationship breakdown, it also signifies the importance of drawing up clearly defined legal expectations when it comes to gifting or lending to family members. In this instance an elderly woman (79) in New Zealand lent $50,000 to her daughter to purchase a property they planned to […]

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16 November 2023
A capital gains tax by stealth on your family home?

If you have been keeping a close ear to the pulse of recent media reports, you may have noticed the so-called "bright-line test" that taxes the gains on the sale of residential property, getting some increased airtime.  So what is all this about?  According to a recent Inland Revenue draft interpretation statement on the bright-line […]

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16 November 2023
Understanding the pitfalls of New Zealand's fifth largest lender

Here is an interesting one. Do you know who New Zealand's 5th largest lender is for owner-occupiers? One that is estimated to lend out a whopping $22.6 billion in the last year alone, according to Consumer NZ? Here's a hint, it is not one of the large trans-Tasman banks! If you haven't guessed it yet, […]

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10 March 2023
Insurance advice for flood-affected homeowners after Cyclone Gabrielle

In the weeks since the Cyclone Gabrielle and the devastating floods in the North Island, residents are still coming to grips with the enormity of the event. It is, however, encouraging to see people starting to look forward and think about the way ahead. Part of that, of course, is insurance, which should be there […]

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22 November 2022
Incorporated Societies Act 2022 Law Changes: What you need to know

Do you help manage an incorporated society? If so, you’ll need to make a few changes to it in the coming years, thanks to the new Incorporated Societies Act 2022. Those changes include re-registering your society, with a constitution and processes compliant with the new Act. The good news - you still have some time. […]

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20 March 2022
Preparing for the Disputes Tribunal - Everything You Need to Know

The Disputes Tribunal is an important and useful tool used to determine disputes at a lower cost, is less formal than the Courts and provides a faster method to resolve litigation matters. Who can make a claim to the Disputes Tribunal? Anyone can file a claim, however, there must be a genuine dispute before the […]

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30 November 2021
Rushed credit legislation leads to new lending requirements

From Wednesday 1 December, banks, finance companies and their customers will face new obligations and paperwork as changes to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act come into effect. Among other requirements, before lending money, lenders will need to: This will hopefully lead to greater protection for consumers, but it also means applications for personal loans and mortgages are […]

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13 September 2021
Buying or selling residential property during COVID-19

Does COVID-19 need to put a stop to your residential property dreams? Not necessarily. While COVID and lockdowns can stop plenty of things, they don’t stop property sales and purchases. However, they can limit things. For example: At level 4, you’re unable to move house, except under extreme circumstances. Conveyancing and real estate work can […]

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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
Succession Law Update: Significant Changes Likely on the Way

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
Enhancing Justice: Law Commission Recommends New DNA Forensic Rules

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
Is an Uber driver a contractor?

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
2021 Trust Reforms: What You Need to Know

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
Privacy Vs Productivity: Reviewing The Ethics Of Remote Work Monitoring

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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20 July 2020
New Zealand Law Revolutionised by 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. In […]

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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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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 Laws: Understanding New Zealand's 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
Secure Your Love and Assets: Why a Prenuptial Agreement Matters

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
The Secrets to Upholding Online Contracts and Defending Your Interests

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
Driving Change: Our Efforts to Resolve over 3000 Outstanding EQC Claims

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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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 expect, […]

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13 July 2017
Josh's First Home Triumph: A Partnership 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
The Devastating Impacts of Meth Infested Homes

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
Digital Litigation: The Future of Legal Practice

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
Understanding unit titles and body corporate rules

You own a unit titled property on the ground floor. The tree in your backyard 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 committee […]

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