Legal Matters

Our lawyers regularly analyse and comment on a variety of topical legal issues. The most recent of these articles are listed below for your convenience.

November 2017 Newsletter

November 2017

In our November issue

Employees – What are we allowed?

Alternative Dispute Resolution Series: How It can help You - Mediation in Employment Disputes

Law Update: Trading on Easter Sunday

Reforms in Trust Law – what it means for your trust

How the Residential Care Subsidy can affect your Asset Planning – What you need to know?

Trading hours over Christmas

Wacky Christmas Laws and Practises

Freeholding a cross-lease development

October 2017

Whakatane real estate professionals and property law practitioners have over the years become extremely familiar with what is known as cross-lease developments. Subsequently you too as the public will, if you have not already done so, come across this term while you are exploring Whakatane’s property market. Cross leasing evolved in the 1960s as a means of bypassing strict subdivision rules put in place by local government at that time, however the advantage of cross-leasing ceased with the introduction of the Resource Management Act 1991 which included “cross-lease” within its definition of a “subdivision”.

August 2017 Newsletter

September 2017

In our August issue

Cloud Storage

The Corporate Veil

Domestic Violence Victims Protection Bill

Why is competition law important? – NZME and Fairfax media merger case

Personal Lending Guarantees – Enforceability

“The Ruck – a Lawyer’s analysis of the rules of rugby’s ruck.”

Quirky Commonwealth Laws

May 2017 Newsletter

June 2017

In our May issue

Brexit, Political Power and the Role of the Courts

Enduring Powers of Attorney – Recent Changes

The Harmful Digital Communications Act – Cyberbullies Beware

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 – Happy First Birthday

Auction Preparation

Default Interest

Trusts - A Brief Summary

February 2017 Newsletter

February 2017

In our February issue

The Bright-line Test

The Human Tissues Act

Reckless Trading

Small Passenger Services Review

I Have Been Named An Executor Of A Will, What Do I Do Now?

The Ombudsmen

Queen's Chain

November 2016 Newsletter

November 2016

In our November issue

Intellectual Property Licensing

Plant Variety Rights

Best vs Reasonable Endeavours

Sharemilking Agreements

Going to Court - Checklist

Building a Boundary Fence

Strange and Wonderful Land Covenants

August 2016 Newsletter

August 2016

In our August issue

Eureka! Now What?

Secrecy Agreements

What goes on in a property transaction?

The legal results of a market decline

Brexit – A comparison with the NZ China FTA

Net Migration

“Click Agree” Agreements

May 2016 Newsletter

May 2016

In our May issue

Flat mate or de facto partner?

Buildings and warrants of fitness

The ins and outs of a restraint of trade clause

Citizen's arrest:  An overview

Buying goods subject to security - the "ordinary course of business" exemption

Property Purchase – Meth testing

Reform – Health & Safety at Work Act 2015

February 2016 Newsletter

February 2016

In our February issue

The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill – A look at the changes for landlords and tenants

Gift Vouchers - What happens to your voucher if the company goes into receivership?

The Health and Safety at Work Act - In force from 4 April 2016

How well do you know your lease

Maori Land - How Succession of Maori Land works

Updated agreement for sale and purchase of real estate

Buying a vehicle – is there money owing?

November 2015 Newsletter

November 2015

In our November issue

Selling a Business - things to consider

Trusts and relationship property - what does Clayton v Clayton mean for me?

Tax changes for settlements and the proposed “bright-line” test

Modernising Child, Youth and Family Services – Interim Report

How to Obtain a Limited Licence

Alcohol Control

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement update


September 2015

The Building Amendment Act 2013 was enacted on 27 November 2013 with many of the provisions relating to residential building contracts recently coming into force on 1 January 2015.  The changes introduced by this legislation will have a big effect on the way many builders interact with their customers who in turn may need to come to grips with more paperwork in respect of their building projects.

August 2015 Newsletter

August 2015

In our August issue

Changes to the Companies Act 1993

Cyber Bullying - on its way out?

Child support

Passing away without a Will – what happens to your Estate?

Magna Carta - 800 years on

Building contracts & retention sums

Building your new home – why include a sunset clause?


August 2015

The Employment Relations Act 2000 (“Act”) was recently amended resulting in changes in a number of areas.  A few of these are discussed below. 

May 2015 Newsletter

May 2015

In our May issue

For traders – what are your obligations when selling goods online?

Property sales – disclosure

The Family Court reforms – one year on

Speak no evil – non-disparagement provisions in employment settlement agreements

Bain’s latest battle: the quest for compensation

Building Amendment Act 2013 update

Should you pay a deposit?

Will the lower alcohol limits affect you?

May 2015

The Land Transport Amendment Act (No. 2) 2014 came into force on 1 December 2014. The changes mean that the breath alcohol level has been lowered from 400 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath to a level of 250 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The blood alcohol level has also been decreased from 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 mills of blood to 50 milligrams.

Grounds for Contesting a Will

April 2015

When you make a Will, you like to think that your wishes will be followed and your estate will end up in the hands of the intended recipients.  In most cases, that is exactly what happens.

However, there are circumstances where your Will can be challenged and the Court may order that your estate be distributed differently than you had directed.  There are three different statutes which allow claims to be made against an estate:

February 2015 Newsletter

February 2015

In our February Issue

Work life and private life – implications of social media

Trust law: trustees’ duties – are you at risk?

Becoming a permanent resident in New Zealand

The Supreme Court – 10 years on

The US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act – an overview

New Zealand’s extradition laws – Law Commission review

Traffic law - can you bike home from the pub?

November 2014 Newsletter

November 2014

In our November Issue

Neighbour law part 2: Nuisance and trespass, issues with animals, noises & smells

The disciplinary meeting as part of a sound process

For companies – an overview of voluntary administration, receivership and liquidation

Greenpeace NZ – Supreme Court decision

What is a General Security Agreement?

Fixture or chattel - why should I care?

Attorneys under enduring powers of attorney – what is your role?

August 2014 Newsletter

August 2014

In our August Issue

Employment Investigations - running a sound process

Neighbour law part 1 - love thy neighbour

Protecting your trading name

Sports law - criminalising match-fixing in New Zealand

Judicial Review - the Lucan Battison case

What is a certificate of acceptance?

Psychoactive Substances Act – amendment

May 2014 Newsletter

May 2014

In Our May Issue

Consumer Law Reform – what does it mean  for you?

Selling and buying goods internationally

Ensuring it’s a first house and not a P house

Changes to the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987

Executors and Trustees - Roles and Responsibilities

The Harmful Digital Communications Bill

Trust Busting – case update

February 2014 Newsletter

February 2014

In Our February Issue

Your Duty of Disclosure to your Insurer

Makeover for trust law proposed

Health and Safety reform on the horizon

Review of burial and cremation laws

A new Incorporated Societies Act - What could it mean for our organisations?

November 2013 Newsletter

November 2013

In Our November Issue

DIY And The Law

Extended Warranties And The Consumer Guarantees Act: Are You Throwing Your Money Away?

Construction Contracts Amendment Bill

The America's Cup: Battles Off The Water

Challenging The Terms Of A Will

Cancelling A Conditional Contract

Protect Your Position As Supplier - Is Your Product At Risk?

August 2013 Newsletter

August 2013

In Our August Issue

Big Brother Is Watching - Intelligence Developments

Going Into Business - An Overview of Why You Need a Shareholders' Agreement

The Employment Relations Amendment Bill - An Overview

Estate Planning - Residential Care Loans

Relocation Outside of New Zealand

Is Your Will Valid? Don't Get Caught Out

Royal Pardon

May 2013 Newsletter

May 2013

In Our May Issue

Homeowner Beware

Law Commission Review of the News Media


Relationship Property after death

Food Standards

Psychoactive Substances Bill

Trustee vs Executor

February 2013 Newsletter

February 2013

In Our February Issue

Drug Testing In the Workplace

Council Liability For Leaky Buildings


Alternative Dispute Resolution

For Richer For Poorer - Contracting Out of the Property Relationships Act 1976

Proposed Introduction of Starting Out Wage

Maori Wardens

November 2012 Newsletter

November 2012

In Our November Issue

Electronic Identity Verification Bill

Commercial Leases - Rights of Renewal

Personal Properties Securities Register and Terms of Trade

ADLS Building Report Clause 9.3

Water Use and Consents

August 2012 Newsletter

August 2012

In Our August Issue

Employment Law Update

Enduring Powers of Attorney

The Accident Compensation Corporation

Vendor Warranties and Real Estate

The Rise of Look Through Companies

Suggested Conditions To Include In Your Agreement For Sale And Purchase

May 2012

Below are some suggested conditions you should get your land agent to include in your Agreement For Sale and Purchase (they will have the wording)

May 2012 Newsletter

May 2012

In our May issue

Changes to Credit Laws


Abolishment Of Gift Duty And Impact On Trusts

The Dark Side Of Mortgagee Sales

Joint Tenants Vs. Tenants In Common

February 2012 Newsletter

February 2012

In our February issue

Bill Introduced to Prevent Foreign Abuse of New Zealand Company Laws


Changes to Road & Driving Laws

Financial Markets Authority

Licence to Marry

Paid Sleep-Overs

The Financial Assistance Package - Relief at last for Leaky Home Owners!

January 2012

The Financial Assistance Package is now available to owners of “Leaky Homes” that meet certain criteria.  The Package is designed to provide the homeowner with up to 50% of the agreed repair costs from Central Government and participating Local Authorities.  The Whakatane and Opotiki District Council’s have signed an agreement with the Crown to become participants.  The Kawerau District Council has opted not to participate in the Financial Assistance Package.  Any other party involved in the construction of the building may also agree to contribute to any repair costs.

November 2011 Newsletter

November 2011

In our November issue

Counterfeit and Illegal Goods – New Powers Granted to the State

Christchurch Earthquake to Trigger– Changes to Resource Management Act 1991

Frustrated Contracts

Child Support Changes

Buying and Selling A Unit Title Property

The “Gift of Life”

August 2011 Newsletter

August 2011

In our August issue

Protecting Your Intellectual Property From Trading Risks

Alcohol Reform Bill

Crimes Amendment Bill No. 2 – Protection of Children

The Unit Titles Act 2010

Emissions Trading Scheme - The Choice Owners of Forest Land Need To Make

July 2011


Employment Agreements Recent Changes

July 2011


As of 1 July 2011 all employers are required to have a signed copy of each Employee’s
Individual Employment Agreement or, where an employee has yet to sign, a copy of the
intended Employment Agreement, held on file.  The Employment Agreements must be
available to the employee at the employee’s request.