Publications

Legal publications and resources from our team on a wide range of legal subjects and hot topics critical to our clients' needs.

Publications

Legal publications and resources from our team on a wide range of legal subjects and hot topics critical to our clients' needs.

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Commercial leases: What happens when they come to an end?

Time is up on your lease – is it simply a matter of handing back the keys? Not quite! This article discusses the obligations on the tenant to reinstate the premises to its pre-lease condition and the potential consequences of not doing so.

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Building law changes: Enhanced consumer protection

This article summarises some recent changes in the law affecting residential construction contracts. The changes – essentially enhanced consumer protection laws – will be of particular interest to those considering building a new home or carrying out renovations to an existing residential property.

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Part one: New financial reporting standards - charities

Registered charities in New Zealand enjoy a privileged position in that charities are not required to pay tax on income. Despite this privileged position, to date, there have been no minimum standards on the content or the quality of financial standards for charities. From 1 April 2015, new reporting standards come into effect for all registered charities in New Zealand. One of the aims of the new standards is to raise the standards, ensure a level of conformity in reporting, and ensure charities remain accountable to the public. All charities will now need to complete annual reporting which include, completing an annual return, and attaching to that annual return financial statements/performance reports which comply with the new standards.

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Engineers and professional discipline: The Christchurch earthquake and the CTV building

This article summarises the recent High Court decision of Harding v Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand Incorporated [2014] NZHC 2251 relating to the collapse of the CTV Building following the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Complaints were received by the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (“IPENZ”) regarding Mr Harding’s involvement in the design of the building. This Court decision relates to the validity of the disciplinary procedure initiated by IPENZ in response to those complaints. Jonathan’s expanded version of this article was published in the New Zealand Law Journal in December 2014.

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Changes on the horizon for community housing initiatives

Recent amendments to the Income Tax Act 2007 create a tax exemption for charities that provide affordable housing. Until the amendment, the provision of affordable housing was not seen as charitable. This is because it did not relieve poverty and there were associated private benefits to the housing provider (for example see Re Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust). Organisations that only provided affordable community housing were not eligible for a tax exemption.

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Health and safety reforms: What you should know

After the Pike River Mine tragedy and the subsequent Independent Taskforce report, the Government embarked on reviewing the current Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992. As a result, the Health and Safety Reform Bill was introduced to Parliament on 10 March 2014 and passed its first reading a few days later. The Bill provides for many changes to the current Act and is intended to come into force from 1 April 2015.

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Business acquisitions: The importance of due diligence to manage risk

When looking to acquire a business, trying to identify and manage the associated risks can be an overwhelming task. Each risk can attach its own unique set of due diligence requirements to ensure the purchaser remains protected prior to settlement and after settlement.

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Development contributions: The new regime

Development contributions (“DCs”) continue to get a lot of media attention – and can leave a sour taste, especially as they do not just apply to “developers” as traditionally understood, but all kinds of projects and people. This article outlines the new regime for DCs introduced by recent amendments to the Local Government Act.

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The District Plan appeal process put simply

The purpose of this article is to explain the Proposed District Plan process using the Hamilton City Proposed District Plan as an example.

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Financial Markets Authority grants first equity crowd funding licences

On 31 July 2014, following Harmoney being announced as the first licensed peer-to-peer lender in New Zealand, the Financial Markets Authority granted the first equity crowd funding licences to PledgeMe and Snowball Effect. With more licences set to be issued, a new, innovative industry is quickly developing in New Zealand.

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Joint tenants or tenants in common?

This article sets out the differences between joint tenants and tenants in common and summarises the recent case of Harvey v Gateshead Investments Ltd [2013] NZHC 2253 in which the High Court severed a joint tenancy.

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Building law changes that could affect you

We have previously reported on the Building Amendment Bill which became law in November 2013. The bill has made significant amendments to the Building Act 2004 that could affect you. There has been some confusion around the timing of the changes, so this article addresses the key changes that are already in effect and those that are yet to come into force.

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Internet and online traders

Do you sell goods and services online? Do you buy goods and services online? Recent amendments to the Fair Trading Act 1986 and the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 have seen traders who sell goods and services online being placed under increasing obligations, all with the intention of better protecting the online consumer. This article summarises the recent law changes relating to the sale and purchase of goods and services online.

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Erceg v Erceg: A balancing act between trustee and settlor

The recent New Zealand case of Erceg v Erceg highlights the conflict between the obligations of a trustee to fulfil a settlor’s intentions, and the rights of beneficiaries to have access to information. This case provides guidance when these obligations and rights are no longer compatible, and is an important read for both trustees and beneficiaries.

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Charities update

This year has seen the release of a number of Court decisions in the Charities and Not for Profits areas. This article summarises some recent decisions, and outlines the implications for similar organisations.