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Latest News and Updates

Fences and liability for trespassing stock

30 April 2015

If your stock trespasses on your neighbour’s land because the boundary fence is not adequate you may be able to avoid liability for the damage by the protection given to you by the Impounding Act 1955 ...

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Property eSpeaking Autumn 2015

10 April 2015

Inside the Autumn 2015 issue of Property eSpeaking: The Changing Course of a River Can Alter Your Boundaries; Get a Building Report when You’re Buying a New House; Property Briefs: rent reviews; The value of a LIM report.

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Fineprint - Autumn 2015

23 March 2015

In this issue: 40 Business Tips for Every Small and Medium Enterprise; The Rural Lease; Helping your Children into their First Home; “Who Let the Dogs Out?”; Postscript - Parental leave changes; Debt collectors will now need a licence; Tradies win in 'claw-back' case.

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The Changing Course of a River Can Alter Your Boundaries

22 March 2015

When you bought your land, your lawyer will have sent you a search copy of the title to your property as recorded on the register at Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). The LINZ register is generally regarded as being conclusive evidence that you own the land and how much land is included in your title. However, it isn’t always the case – and it wasn’t the situation for the Eldridges when they purchased their farm ‘Stansborough’ in the Wairarapa. ...

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Bush lawyer stung with $17,700 costs order over $2,000 agreement

16 March 2015

There is an often quoted saying “He who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client”. This saying means that representation in court is tough stuff and that self-representation is likely to end badly.

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Rural eSpeaking - Autumn 2015

11 March 2015

Inside the Autumn 2015 edition of Rural eSpeaking: Buying Rural Property: Due diligence is vital; Easements on Rural Land: Care is needed; Over the Fence: 'Mondayising' public holidays ; Minimum wage review 2015; Sharemilking arrangements; New employment law provisions in force.

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Horse & Law Issue 10: Intellectual Property - Protecting Your Photographs

06 March 2015

From the Kihikihi Horse Trial to the Karaka Million, it doesn’t matter what the equine event is, people are taking photos. In today’s digital and social media culture where copying and sharing other people’s photos is as easy as clicking your fingers, what rights do you have to your photographs, and, importantly, how do you stop them being copied and shared? ...

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Crunchy Credit Compliance

24 February 2015

Offering extended payment terms can be a valuable tool to get a deal across the line. It can expand your market and accelerate sales cycles. However, there is a point where extending payment terms moves into the realm of credit sales, triggering a number of legal compliance requirements. ...

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Sold! What happens to employees when a business is sold?

24 February 2015

As a business owner you’ll want to maximise value in your business when you sell it. One way of enhancing value is to manage your employees carefully during the process. If the sale involves selling shares, employment may remain largely unchanged. But, when the assets of a business are sold, employees are likely to be losing their current jobs (although probably gaining new ones with the new owner). This delicate situation needs to be well managed. ...

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Court rejects son's claim for equal share of family farm

16 February 2015

If children are dissatisfied with their inheritance when a parent dies, the Family Protection Act 1955 can provide them with redress. ...

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Trust eSpeaking - Summer 2015

11 February 2015

Inside the Summer 2015 issue of Trust eSpeaking - Protecting Your Digital Assets; Duties of an Attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney; FATCA and New Zealand Trusts.

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The Caveat - protecting your interest in land

02 February 2015

You have signed up to purchase a property and paid a large deposit, but you aren’t going to complete the purchase for another year. What if the vendor sells to someone else during that time? What if the vendor cancels your agreement and won’t or can’t pay your deposit back? How can you protect your deposit in these situations? ...

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Attempt to remove family home from reach of creditors partly successful

19 January 2015

Couples commonly own their property jointly. One of the consequences of joint ownership is that the survivor is entitled to ownership if one of the owners dies. In contrast, where a property is owned as tenants in common, each owner has a distinct share ...

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Grazing contracts - getting paid

19 December 2014

The law books are full of cases deciding who is going to get the goods (and get paid) when a business fails. In the light of the decision in Stockco Limited v Walker, both graziers and financiers would be well advised to review their paperwork and procedures and take legal advice as to how best to protect their interests ...

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Landlord's Refusal To Renew A Lease

01 December 2014

Often a lease of land or land and buildings gives the tenant the right to renew it, sometimes more than once. This depends on what is written in the lease document. Usually the lease will state that the tenant has the right to renew the lease only if the tenant...

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Access to Trust Information - What Can Beneficiaries See?

25 November 2014

Many people are beneficiaries in trusts. If you know you are a beneficiary in a trust you might like to know you are being treated properly. What information can you see to check this? Beneficiaries don’t “own” a trust so they don’t have a right to all information relating to trust...

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Appointment & Removal Of Trustees Must Be For A Proper Purpose

16 November 2014

The trustees of a typical Family Trust can decide which of the beneficiaries should benefit from the Trust, and when and how they should benefit. Thus the person with the power to hire and fire the trustees has a degree of control over the Trust. The exercise of that power...

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Horse & Law - Issue 9

12 November 2014

Health & Safety for Equine Business New health and safety laws are expected to come into force 1 April 2015. These changes increase obligations on everyone in a work environment. These increased obligations also come with increased penalties. For worst case breaches of health and safety requirements, penalties are up to...

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Fineprint - Summer 2014

11 November 2014

Inside this issue: The Health and Safety Reform Bill: Be prepared early for significant changes Business Succession Planning Good Fences: Significant responsibilities for rural landowners Family Dispute Resolution: A new service to help families in conflict Postscript: 90-day trial period - New drink driving laws introduced in time for Christmas - Relationship property update...

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Property eSpeaking - Summer 2014

04 November 2014

Inside the summer edition of Property eSpeaking: Residential Building Contracts: Homework Important When Building. Facebook: Is This Your Personal Property or Not?. Property Briefs: Owning a Cross Lease. Cross Lease Insurance. Making Alterations to Your Dwelling on a Cross Lease Title...

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Farm Succession - An Unfortunate Experience For One Family

03 November 2014

It’s a common scenario – the son leaves school and works long hours on the family farm for low wages in the expectation that the farm will eventually be his. A recent case illustrates the consequences of the family’s failure to record their expectations in a business-like manner. The son had...

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Recent Case Gives Tenants Protection From Liability

23 October 2014

Recent case gives tenants protection from liability Most tenants have, no doubt, been blissfully unaware of the liability they could have faced if they had accidentally left something cooking on the stove or a tap running. A recent case gives tenants some protection against this liability. The case of the four...

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GST Claims - One Of The Pitfalls

08 October 2014

David wrote to me recently about his friend (I’ll call him Ray) who is a residential property trader. Ray had been caught out with GST recently. Ray had bought a property for about $300,000 at a mortgagee auction. (As this was a residential property purchase I have assumed that the purchase...

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No 8 Wire Solution Costs Landowner $286,000

29 September 2014

What New Zealand farmer hasn’t found a No 8 wire solution to a problem facing him on the farm? Unfortunately for Mr Street of rural Taranaki, his solution to his drainage problem had devastating and costly consequences. Mr Street’s drainage system fails Mr Street constructed a drainage system on his property so...

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Signed Contracts Not Always Binding

12 September 2014

Maria and Wendy Hurt were having difficulty paying their mortgage. They thought that selling their property and buying a cheaper one without a mortgage might solve their problem. They approached an accountant, Mr Toilolo, for help. Mr Toilolo came to see them at their home with a contract signed by...

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A Privilege For Overseas Persons To Own New Zealand Farm Land

01 September 2014

Debate over the rights of non-New Zealanders to purchase New Zealand farm land has been re-ignited recently as a result of a Shanghai Pengxin company’s application to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) to purchase Lochinver Station, a 13,800 ha station near Taupo. If the applicant is successful, Shanghai Pengxin will...

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Rural eSpeaking - Winter/Spring 2014

13 August 2014

Inside this edition: Protecting Your Brand - looking after the Intellectual Property; Health & Safety Reforms - Who will be responsible on the farm?; Over the fence - Minimum wage order change, Animal Welfare (Dairy Cattle) Code of Welfare 2010 has been revoked, Farm buildings to be exempt from assessments...

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Bank Loan Offers - Consider Carefully When Committing To Purchase

08 August 2014

The banks would no doubt have been concerned if a farming company had been successful in its recent journey through our Court system. The company was a victim of the 2008 GFC and consequent collapse in farm prices. It had claimed against ANZ for losses suffered when ANZ declined to...

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Property eSpeaking - Winter 2014

31 July 2014

In the winter edition of Property eSpeaking: All Trustees Must Sign when Dealing with Trust Assets; Paper Roads and Public Access; Property Briefs - Joint tenancy v tenancy in common; Forcing a sale and property sharing agreements; Relationship property update: 30/70 assett split...

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Good Fencing Law Makes Good Neighbours

28 July 2014

Over a year ago Brian received a notice from Dick requiring Brian to pay towards some new boundary fencing. Nothing happened until recently when Dick built the new fence. Part of the original fence had not been built on the true boundary because the land was steep. Dick replaced this...

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Estimates And Quotes - Your Legal Rights

19 July 2014

Estimates and quotes – your legal rights Sue had an old truck that she used around the farm occasionally. Sue thought the truck would be useful to carry stock. Sue took the truck to a firm that built truck bodies and asked how much it would cost to modify her truck...

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Handing Over The Reins - The Farm Succession Challenge

14 July 2014

Despite the rise in corporate owned farms in New Zealand, the family farm remains the back bone of our farming industry and has undoubtedly been a major contributor towards its success. With skin in the game there is strong motivation for family members to put in the hard graft required...

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Horse & Law - Issue 8

08 July 2014

A previous article we published touched on the importance of establishing how you own your horse. Following on from this general discussion the next consideration after you have established your ownership is what the actual ownership structure is. The word Ownership represents the many obligations and rights a person has in...

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Farmers Need To Up Their Game - Employment Law Breaches Too Common

30 June 2014

The Waikato BOP Magic are in a strong position for the ANZ Championship in netball, the Waikato chiefs have dominated super 15 in the last two years and could be on the way to a second win this season. We can be proud of the Waikato’s winning ways. But there...

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Thinking Of Subdividing Your Farm?

29 June 2014

Why subdivide? There are many good reasons to subdivide – for example: to increase the value of your farm and its saleability in the future to sell part of your farm and use the cash for repayment of debt or investment (Subdivision might be particularly worthwhile if your farm is on the edge...

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Fineprint - Winter 2014

25 June 2014

In this issue of Fineprint: Satifying Conditions in Agreement for Sale and Purchase; Criminal Sanctions for Those Involved in Cartels; Farm Succession Planning; Careful Planning Needed for Blended Families; Postscript...

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Purchaser Pays For Ending Agreement

16 June 2014

Purchaser ordered to pay $100,000 for ending agreement Most purchasers wish to sign a sale and purchase agreement subject to conditions. Commonly the agreement is conditional on the purchaser arranging finance, approving a builder’s or LIM report, or selling the purchaser’s property. How far does the purchaser have to go in...

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Commercial eSpeaking - Winter 2012

01 June 2014

In the Winter 2012 edition of Commercial eSpeaking: Using Intellectual Property to Sustain your Business. Recent Changes to the Credit Reporting System. Business Briefs: Consumer Law Reform Bill update, 'Would' v 'Could', Why the concept of traditional gifting should not be easily dismissed...

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RMA Enforcement Orders - Tools To Promote Sustainable Farming

31 May 2014

Every farmer in New Zealand will be acutely aware of the increasing push towards sustainable management on the farm. The stated purpose of the Resource Management Act (commonly referred to as the RMA) is “to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources”. That purpose is the benchmark against...

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Farmer Faces Possible Imprisonment For Wilful Breaches Of QE II Covenants

14 May 2014

Farmer faces possible imprisonment for wilful breaches of QE II covenants A recent case should serve as a reminder to landowners that the law does have teeth if they wilfully breach open space covenants registered against their land. QE II Open Space Covenants The Queen Elizabeth II National Trust is an independent statutory...

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Property eSpeaking - Autumn 2014

28 April 2014

Inside this issue of Property eSpeaking: Kid Gloves Needed - GST schedule in Agreement for Sale and Purchase; Retirement Village Living - Best or worst investment?; Property Briefs: Change on the way for taxation of property investment; P-lab testing; Cross leases...

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Judge Corrects Contract

01 April 2014

Judge corrects contract to reflect true bargain Claimants in our courts can seek various equitable remedies to prevent unfairness resulting from the application of the law. Equitable remedies are not available as of right. The judge will consider each case and decide whether to exercise his or her discretion and...

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Social Media Policies Are A Must In The Workplace

28 March 2014

Social Media Policies are a Must in the Workplace The use of social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn have dramatically changed the way we live. In the old days, when friends and family moved overseas they really were ‘gone’ save for the occasional letter or an expensive phone call...

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Fineprint - Autumn 2014

25 March 2014

In the Autumn 2014 issue of Fineprint: Major Revamp of Consumer Law. The Dismissal Process. The Perils of Effluent Discharge. Relationship Property Developments. Postscript...

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Rural eSpeaking - March

14 March 2014

Inside the Autumn 2014 issue of Rural eSpeaking: Personal Properties Security Register - Be Careful When Selling Stock. Animal Welfare Amendment Bill - Better enforecement, clarity and transparency. Over the Fence - Public Holidays; Minimum Wage review 2014; sharemilking arrangements; Contractual considerations when entering into Agreement for Sale & Purchase...

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Whistleblowers In The Private Sector

05 March 2014

Whistleblowers in the Private Sector Edward Snowden and others have put the spotlight on whistleblowing as a global phenomenon, exposing government secrets. But whistleblowing also occurs in the private sector, and it can cause significant costs for businesses. Is there any way to limit these costs? In New Zealand we have the...

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What Is Spam?

01 March 2014

Spam Spiraling Skyward If your inbox is anything like mine, it’s been assaulted by spam over the past few weeks. Rather frustratingly, the spam has come from a legitimate email addresses within my contacts. Despite multiple reminders from our IT department telling us to ‘delete delete delete’, curiosity has certainly tempted...

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IEAS - Back To Basics

24 February 2014

Back to Basics - Employment Agreements and the 5 “Ws” It was impossible to miss the general climate of buoyant optimism and economic growth springing from the pages of last month’s Waikato Business News. In addition to the long sunny days the Waikato has been enjoying, the economic climate also appears...

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Open For Bitcoin Business

24 February 2014

Bitcoin Accepted Here Cash. Moolah. Bucks. Smackeroos. Dough. Those folding notes are generally what get us out of bed five days a week. And what keep us up half of the night. Whether metal, paper or electronic, legal tender is what makes the world go round. So will the world stop...

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Sharemilking Disputes - Claim Too Late And Miss Out

24 February 2014

Sharemilking Disputes – Claim Too Late and Miss Out Ms C. owned a dairy farm and herd and employed Mr. W. as her sharemilker. The relationship between Ms C. and Mr W. deteriorated to the point where Ms C. ordered Mr W. to leave her property when he arrived at work...

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Horse & Law - Issue 7 February 2014 - Employment Agreements - What Are They And Why Do You Need Them

21 February 2014

Horse & Law - Issue 7 Employment Agreements—What Are They and Why Do You Need Them The equine industry is well known for entering transactions informally, often with little or no documentation. But employers in the equine industry could be running the gauntlet if they employ workers without a written and signed...

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Commercial eSpeaking - Summer 2014

22 January 2014

Inside Commercial eSpeaking this issue: Voidable Transactions - Can be a signifcant risk for businesses. A Boost to Empoyee Share Offers and Captial Raising. Business Briefs - New Zealand company business numbers. Director residency requirements. Getting staff resignations right...

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What's In A (Place) Name?

20 January 2014

What’s in a (Place) Name? When you’re sipping your Champagne, or perhaps it’s New Zealand bubbly, have you ever wondered why there’s a name difference in what is essentially a sparkling white wine? It’s all about “geographical indication”. A “geographical indication” or GI, is used to indicate that a product originates from...

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Owner Of Leased Stallion Caught Out By The PPSA

20 January 2014

Owner of Leased Stallion Caught Out by the PPSA The law states that if you don’t own something then you can’t transfer ownership of it to anyone else. Thus, if you buy something from someone who has stolen it, you cannot become the rightful owner. This is commonly known as...

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Purchasing A Farm - Ensuring Effluent System Compliance

13 January 2014

If you are purchasing a dairy farm you should thoroughly investigate the adequacy of the effluent disposal system. If the system is does not comply with regional authority rules under the Resource Management Act, you could become liable for criminal prosecution by the regional authority, and you could incur substantial...

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Horse & Law - Issue 6

20 December 2013

To lease or not to lease? Leasing (and/or loaning) horses is a regular occurrence in all equine disciplines. Whether you are leasing a well-bred broodmare to commence a breeding programme or a first pony, leases and loan agreements should always be documented in writing. A lease of a horse should be approached...

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'Tis The Season For Buying And Selling Property - But Do I Really Need A Lim Report?

16 December 2013

With property sales on the rise again, people are gearing up to present their properties for sale in a highly competitive market. Agreements for Sale and Purchase are coming in overnight and in some cases settlements are happening a few days later. “Excellent” you might think, the quicker the better...

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Rural eSpeaking - Summer 2013

04 December 2013

In this issue: Rural Buildings - Earthquake Prone Buildings?. Independent Trustees - Understanding your Liability. Over the Fence: Farmers: be careful of minimum wage requirements. Livestock grazing. Entries now open for dairy industry awards...

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Bulging Inbox - Delete All?

25 November 2013

Hands up who has more than 1,000 emails in their inbox? With ever-expanding storage available from email providers, the number of people who have their hands in the air will be significant. Most of us automatically keep our emails without giving much thought to it. But which emails is a...

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Is Your Farm Cottage Contaminated With P?

18 November 2013

Is your farm cottage contaminated with P? Lee rented out her farm cottage. The tenant’s friend was busted for manufacturing P at the cottage. Lee has spent $40,000 on decontamination of the property and has lost $25,000 in rent. Des looked at a small farm to buy and convert to...

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Property Speaking - Summer 2013

07 November 2013

In the summer edition of Property Speaking: Look Through Companies - How do they work?. Proposed Earthquake Strengthening Requirements. Property Briefs: Kiwisaver Deposit Subsidy. Land Covenants.

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If I Incorporate, Am I Safe?

28 October 2013

You‘ve taken the decision to become your own boss. If you trade as an individual you’re personally liable for your trading debts and at risk of being sued if something goes wrong. Your personal assets will be at risk. When you go it alone, one option is to form a company...

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How Charitable Are You?

28 October 2013

Almost anyone can be a trustee of a charitable trust. Generally the trust will look to appoint people who are a good fit with the skill set of the current trustees and who can bring relevant experience, or particular expertise, to the trust. Being a trustee of a charitable trust shouldn’t...

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Reasons For Redundancy Must Stack Up

14 October 2013

In the recent case of Totara Hills Farm v Davidson the judge found a farmer to have unjustifiably dismissed his farm manager for redundancy. The dismissal was unjustified even though the judge said that the farmer had not used the redundancy as an excuse for dismissal for poor performance and...

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Keeping You And Your Business Secure Online

16 September 2013

I can’t remember the last time I went into the bank. It’s not that I don’t like bankers; I just choose to use my bank’s excellent online services. I also do my grocery shopping, buy presents, car parts and other things online. When I think about it, I do quite...

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Joint Tenancy VS. Tenancy In Common

16 September 2013

Different forms of ownership can have totally different consequences Lyn was terminally ill. Lyn believed that the house she lived in with her partner Rod was owned “jointly” by them. Lyn expected to die before Rod. Because she owned the property with Rod jointly Lyn expected Rod to inherit her share...

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Commercial eSpeaking - Spring 2013

03 September 2013

In the latest issue: Redundancy - Totara Hills case lifts the bar. Is User Generated Content Really Advertising? - using social media to promote your business. Business Briefs - exclusivity: think before you ink; new trademark clearinghouse for domain names; inadequate medical certificates - are you sick of the pandemic?

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Seller Beware - Liability For Broken Promises

19 August 2013

Buyers and sellers often become focused on the financial aspects of an agreement and overlook the rest of the agreement. If you are buying or selling your property you should carefully consider the promises (or warranties) that are made by the seller in the agreement. If those promises are incorrect...

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Receivership Or Liquidation - Does It Make Any Difference?

18 August 2013

A company that owes you money goes into liquidation or receivership. Does it make any difference to you which it is? The main differences between the appointment of a liquidator and that of a receiver are: A receiver is appointed by a secured creditor of the company (often a lender) under a...

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Rural ESpeaking - Issue 12 Winter-spring 2013

13 August 2013

Inside this issue: Fire & General Insurance - Be careful with the level of cover you choose. Health & Safety - More duties, greater accountability. Over the Fence: Insurance cover when entering into an Agreement for Sale & Purchase; Is the redundancy landscape changing?; Employment Relations Amendment Bill; Social Security...

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Turning Your Ideas Into 3D Reality

01 August 2013

The media is filled with the latest and greatest creations of 3D print technology. These include car parts, pizza slices, and handcuff keys. There’s commercial value to be exploited in using this new technology, especially in low cost prototyping. The beauty of 3D printing is the accessibility – these printers...

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Fineprint - Issue 61 Winter 2013

01 August 2013

Inside this issue: Getting Your Affairs in Order. Anti-Money Laundering Legislation. Relationship Property. Greener Pastures. Guarantees. Postscript - Comfort for parents with intellectually disabled children. Don't even touch your mobile when you're driving. Snow days...

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Property Speaking - Issue 13 Winter-spring 2013

01 August 2013

In this issue: Are You Covered? The Sum Insured Requirements: what does it mean for you? Building Natural Capital - Legal protection for natural features on private land. Property Briefs - buying a property through a mortagee sale: maybe a bargian, but also has risk. Authority and Instruction Form...

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Madrid Protocol

01 July 2013

Building a brand offshore just got easier Building an export-focused business requires more than simply identifying the types of goods or the range of services you will provide overseas. Understanding the markets you want to operate in, the types of customers you are targeting, and who your competitors will be...

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Horse & Law - Issue 4 June 2013

28 June 2013

A Horse is a Horse, of Course of Course - But When is a Vet Liable? In most instances buyers of horses obtain a pre-purchase vet check. The result of a vet check can influence a buyer’s decision to purchase the horse or not. There are tales of purchasers who have...

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Forcing The Sale Of Property Owned With Others

16 June 2013

Forcing the sale of property owned with others Barry is a retired farmer who has invested a substantial sum of money in a commercial building. Barry purchased the building many years ago with Sam. Each of them owns a one half share. Originally the building was leased to a blue chip...

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ADLS Lease - Which Edition To Use?

26 May 2013

Is it the 5th or the 6th? When landlords have a choice between staying with the old lease or starting afresh. In the last week I’ve had a number of enquiries from commercial landlords asking whether they can, or should, use the 5th edition or 6th edition of the ADLS (Auckland...

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Forestry Rights - A Way To Generate Extra Cash?

20 May 2013

Farming can be a tough enterprise on its own, so it is worth considering other ways to generate extra income or capital from your land. A forestry right could be one option. What are forestry rights? Forestry rights are rights granted by the owner of land to someone else to establish and/or...

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Property Speaking - Autumn 2013

29 April 2013

Inside this issue: Chop First, Ask Later? It's best to ask before cutting trees. Encroachments - Building close to your boundary can be tricky. Property Briefs: make sure real estate agents have a valid listing agreement. New Zealand's property market: overheated or just warmed up?

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Don't Let The Fine Print Get You: Six Points To Look Out For

28 April 2013

Fine print in contracts is something that commercial lawyers spend inordinate amounts of time creating, reading and worrying about. For the regular person on the street, however, fine print is generally a page (or more) that’s at best given a quick glance before signing up for whatever you are buying, be...

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Buying A Property And The Vendor Is In Breach

26 April 2013

Settlement Day is Looming and all is not Well Common sense and fairness would tell you that you shouldn’t have to pay the full price for a property if it doesn’t meet the description set out in the agreement you signed – for example, where the property is described as being...

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Four Essentials For An Effective 'Act Of God' Clause

07 April 2013

As I write this last weekend’s rain here in the Waikato is a distant memory, the sun is shining and the forecast is for more dry weather, at least until some time in April. A drought has been officially declared over all of the North Island, and parts of the...

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Horse & Law - Issue 3 April 2013

05 April 2013

Generally, oral agreements are an effective and popular way to purchase, sell or lease a horse. Because of this many people involved in equine may argue written agreements are unnecessary. However not only can written agreements provide evidence to base a claim or dispute between parties, they also offer benefits to sellers, purchasers, lessees and lessors that are outside of the usual sale and purchase disputes. One such benefit of a written agreement is proving ownership ...

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Fineprint - Issue 60 Autumn 2013

01 April 2013

In this issue: New ADLS Commercial Lease. Healthcare Directives. Is the Concept of a Vulnerable Worker Becoming Redundant? Put the Deal in Writing. Postscript: New Telephone Service for the Hearing Impaired. Do's and Don'ts of Daily Deals..

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Nz Gun Laws - Firing Up For Further Debate?

26 March 2013

Given the controversy about gun laws in the United States, it is interesting to note that New Zealand has not been without its own controversy on the subject. The December 2012 shooting in the United States, in which 26 people lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School, has placed increased...

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Rural ESpeaking - Autumn 2013

12 March 2013

Inside this issue: Rural Dispute Resolution - Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods. Water - A Natural Resourse or a Commodity? Over the Fence - NAIT Update: Deer Tagging now Mandatory. Timeframe for Redundancy Consultation...

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Trust ESpeaking - Autumn 2013

18 February 2013

In this issue we have articles on: Trust and Avoidance of Rest Home Fees: all quite tricky. Right to Decide About Funeral and Burial: still some uncertanties. Law Commission's Key Proposals for New Trust Legislation...

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Who Is Responsible For Jack's Drainage Problem?

18 February 2013

Jack wrote to me recently about a drainage problem. Water is draining onto Jack’s property from a roadside drain. Jack’s property is level with the road but the drain further up the road from Jack’s property is obstructed by a crossing. This means that when the drain overfills frequently during...

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Protecting Confidential Information?

03 February 2013

New Zealand has traditionally had a good track record of keeping things confidential, and overall the country’s business ethics rate 9.5 out of 10 in the corruption scale at As we plunge further into the digital age, however, we’re seeing reports of breaches of privacy and confidentiality more often...

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Commercial eSpeaking - Summer 2013

01 February 2013

In this edition of Commercial e-Speaking: Managing email, internet and social media. Anti-Money Laundering Deadline Looms. Business Briefs: Further changes ahead for the Employment Relations Act 2000. Employee's Facebook fallacy...

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Using Water? What You Need To Know

14 January 2013

Water permits can be essential for a farm or vineyard to function and can therefore be extremely valuable assets. A recent court case (Marlborough District Council v Altimarloch Joint Venture Ltd [2012] NZSC 11) highlights the importance of ensuring that the necessary water permits are in place and can be...

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Choosing The Right Business Structure - Part 2

01 January 2013

In last month’s article I outlined the main types of business structure used by farmers in New Zealand. This month I will explain the factors you will need to consider when choosing the structure that is most suited to your circumstances. Generally, you will be choosing between: A sole trader A partnership A company A...

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Fineprint - Spring / Summer 2011

13 December 2012

In this edition of Fineprint: Land covenants: selling land and restricting its use. Cameron Bagrie: New Zealand should get back to economic basics. Help, I’ve just separated: tips for your first legal appointment. Vineyard Magic: the devil is in the detail when buying. New law may make some coastal properties...

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Choosing The Right Business Structure - Part 1

01 November 2012

If you have signed up to purchase a farm or wish to re-structure your existing farm ownership, there are many factors to consider when deciding what legal entity to choose to carry on your farming business. In the long run it pays to put time and effort into getting the...

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Property Speaking - Spring 2012

29 October 2012

Inside the Spring 2012 issue of Property Speaking: Caveats - Claiming a Right or Interest in a Property. Signing on Behalf of Trustees. Property Briefs: A Landlord's Responsibility to Maintain Property, Retirement Villages: Be Familiar with the Setup...

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Keeping It Competitive

08 October 2012

You might think of oil or petrol when you hear the term ‘cartel’ or ‘price fixing’ but anti-competitive behaviour isn’t limited to any particular industry. Recent research conducted for the Commerce Commission by Research New Zealand reveals price fixing may be common practice in some New Zealand industries. Although some...

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Commercial eSpeaking - Spring 2012

01 October 2012

In this edition of Commercial eSpeaking: Terms of Trade: Assuming Liability for Negligence. Using the Correct Employee Disciplinary Processes: Employers Can Risk a Costly Personal Grievance Claim. Business Briefs: Changes to Collective Property Ownership. A Liquidator's Reach is Far Indeed. Foreign Engagement...

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Trust ESpeaking - Spring 2012

24 September 2012

In the Spring 2012 edition of Trust eSpeaking: Being a Trustee. Trustees' Duties. Will Makers Do Have a Responsibility to Support Their Families...

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DIY Building Work On The Farm

17 September 2012

We’re a great nation of Do It Yourselfers, particularly on the farm. As a result New Zealanders have gained a reputation for our no 8 wire attitude, our resourcefulness and our ability to come up with innovative solutions to problems. However, there can be significant downsides if DIY building work...

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Rural eSpeaking - Spring 2012

01 September 2012

In the Spring 2012 edition of Rural eSpeaking: Buying a Farm and GST Rating. Succession Planning without Gift Duty. Over the Fence: National Animal and Identification Tracing Act 2012, Casual and Fixed Term Employees, Emissions Trading Scheme, Proposed Changes to Rules for Agricultural Vehicles...

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Financial Service Providers - What Does A Registered Financial Service Provider Mean To You?

26 August 2012

If you haven’t already received a disclosure statement under the Financial Advisers Act 2008, you should receive one the next time that you contact a provider for insurance, credit, car finance, or investment. While it’s all very nice to collect the pieces of paper, what does all this mean to...

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Beware The Caveat

14 August 2012

You have signed up to purchase a property and paid a 10% deposit, but you aren’t going to complete the purchase for another year. What if the vendor sells to someone else during that time? What if the vendor then refuses to refund your deposit or can’t pay your deposit...

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Property Speaking - Winter 2012

02 August 2012

In this issue of Property Speaking: Watching out for a Leaky Home: Helping to identify common features for home buyers. Going into Care: Will giving assets away make any difference? Property Briefs: Changes to the ADLS/REINZ Agreement for Sale & Purchase. Finance conditions for Sale & Purchase Agreements. Repairs and maintenance...

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Fineprint - Winter 2012

31 July 2012

In the Winter 2012 issue of Fineprint: Madrid Trade Mark System: What does it mean for the health of your intellectual property? Winter Feed for Dairy: Making sure there’s enough feed when you buy. Landowner Compensation Rights: Public Works Act 1981. Who’s my Daddy? Establishing paternity. Postscript: Parental leave payments increased...

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Getting To Know Limited Partnerships

29 July 2012

Whether you are embarking on a new venture or considering how you structure an existing business, an understanding of what limited partnerships are is essential to informed decision-making. Limited partnerships were introduced to New Zealand in 2008 but you still may not know what they are, or what benefits they...

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Personal Guarantees - Take Them Seriously

18 July 2012

It is not uncommon for a bank or other lending institution to require a family member to personally guarantee borrowing for the purchase of a property or business. In most cases the family member who is giving the personal guarantee has total confidence in the borrower’s intention and ability to...

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Norris Ward Mckinnon Celebrates Renovated Premises At Annual Client Function

10 July 2012

The annual Norris Ward McKinnon client function was held on Wednesday 4 July, in the firm’s newly renovated premises at Norris Ward McKinnon House. Clients were encouraged to use their invite keys to open the lock in an old wooden door. Five clients successfully opened the door and won $500...

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Beware The Fair Value Trap For Selling Shares In A Private Company

03 June 2012

Many New Zealand private companies will have rules in their constitutions, in an agreement between shareholders or contained in some other agreement or contract, about how the price of shares in the company will be calculated when a shareholder wishes to sell their shares. What is often misunderstood or overlooked...

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What Happens If The Government Or Local Authority Wants Your Land?

10 May 2012

Can the government or local authority take your land? The answer is yes, if the land is required for a ‘public work’. You will, of course, be paid compensation for the taking of your land, but understanding the process and getting advice on your entitlements can make the experience less...

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Property Speaking - Autumn 2012

01 May 2012

In our Autumn edition of Property Speaking we have articles on: Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common – how do we choose? Mortgagee sales – how to avoid one. Being the surviving spouse – some options. A reminder: buyers beware of GST zero-rating...

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Employees, Drugs And Alcohol

20 April 2012

Is your worker often late, irritable, lacking energy or unable to concentrate on work. Do they have bloodshot eyes? Any of these symptoms may show the worker is coming to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This will mean lack of productivity and risk of injury to the...

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Tenants Negotiate Before You Sign Your Commercial Lease

10 April 2012

As a lawyer I’m surprised how often the standard commercial lease published by the Auckland District Law Society is entered into without a thought as to whether all that fine print is going to be helpful if a dispute arises or something unexpected happens. In my experience it’s not unusual for...

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Rural eSpeaking - Autumn 2012

29 March 2012

In the Autumn issue of Rural eSpeaking: What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is your problem. Biosecurity Law Reform Bill 2012. Crafar Farms: What is of the most benefit to New Zealand? Fonterra end of season share purchase. National Animal Identification and Trading Act 2012. Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) - Caveat emptor...

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Paper Roads And Public Access

19 March 2012

Paper roads are relatively widespread across New Zealand farmland. Although paper roads may be marked on survey plans, because they have not been formed, they are difficult to identify on the ground. Paper roads are more precisely called “unformed legal roads” and have the same legal status as any other legal...

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When The Employee Becomes The Competition

19 March 2012

Whatever the size of your business, there can be benefit in using ‘restraint of trade’ clauses in employment agreements for your staff. A number of issues should be borne in mind when considering including such a clause in those agreements. Firstly the clause must be drafted so that the restraint is...

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Trust eSpeaking - Summer 2012

22 February 2012

In the Summer 2012 issue of Trust eSpeaking: Family Trusts and the Family Protection Act 1955: a recent case. Ring-fencing Your Assets When You’re in Business: Taylor v Official Assignee. Divided Loyalties and Conflicts of Interest: Duties of a trustee...

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Buying Land - The Value Of A Lim Report

15 February 2012

It is a common misconception that you don’t need a LIM report when you buy bare land, or when the house and buildings have been signed off by Council. However, the value of a LIM report goes much further than that. Your lawyer will be able to search the title to...

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Commercial eSpeaking - Summer 2012

07 February 2012

Inside the Summer 2012 edition of Commercial eSpeaking: Family Businesses: Planning ahead for success. Insolvent Transactions and Clawbacks: The Companies Act carries a sting in its tail. Clearing up Confusion about Criminalising Cartels. Business Briefs: 90-day Trial Periods, Spam, Companies and Limited Partnerships Amendment Bill...

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Deciding Whether To Gift Or Not?

18 January 2012

If you didn’t know it already you can now gift as much as you like without paying the government gift duty. Before 1 October 2011 you had to pay the government gift duty if you made a gift worth more than $27,000.00 in any one year. The repeal of the...

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When You Can't Manage Your Affairs

12 December 2011

It Could Happen to You… Tragedy knows no bounds and can strike like lightning out of the blue. Matt and Julie had hunkered down and worked hard during some tough years but were now starting to enjoy the rewards - until Matt was seriously injured in a car crash only minutes...

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Rural eSpeaking - December 2011

12 December 2011

Inside this edition of Rural eSpeaking: Use of Your Property: Do you have the right to keep doing what you have always done? Protecting Yourself From Your Trees: Don’t just watch your garden grow. Public Holiday: Christmas 2011 and New Year 2012. Sharemilking Agreements: Variable Order. Animal welfare. Amendment to legislation...

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Property Speaking - November 2011

24 November 2011

Inside this edition of Property Speaking: Using KiwiSaver to Buy Your First Home: good benefits available. Types of Property Ownership: implications for death, separation and rest home subsidy. Property Briefs: Rating valuations, The repeal of gift duty and Solvency Statements, Unit Titles Act 2010: first important date 21 December 2011...

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Relationship Breakdown And The Family Farm

14 November 2011

In 2009 our highest court (the Supreme Court) made a decision[i] which is of great interest to farming families. It also made headlines and generated much debate within the legal profession. For farming families this decision highlights the importance of structuring farm ownership carefully if they wish to ensure the...

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Commercial eSpeaking - October 2011

18 October 2011

Inside the Spring edition of Commercial eSpeaking: Criminalising Cartels. Reform of financial market laws. Copyright law - an update on s92A. The IRD’s powers to search premises. Parental leave and annual leave - how it’s calculated. Casual employees - the law clarified...

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A Privilege For Overseas Persons To Own New Zealand Farm Land

10 October 2011

The application by Pengxin International Limited to purchase the Crafar farm empire was lodged with the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) on 14 April 2011 and at the time of writing the OIO is still considering whether such a privilege should be granted. Overseas Investment Act 2005 (OIA) The sale of New Zealand...

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Selling Off Subdivided Land And Restricting Its Use

15 September 2011

Several years ago Alex subdivided two extra titles off the main title to his dairy farm. These two extra titles could be built on and sold as lifestyle blocks. Although Alex did not intend to sell off the lifestyle blocks at the time he subdivided the farm, he wanted to...

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Trust eSpeaking - September 2011

05 September 2011

In this bumper edition of Trust eSpeaking: Gift Duty - Let's give it all away; Rest Home Care; Trustee Liability as Vendor under an Agreement for Sale & Purchase; Trusts and Tax - The Supreme Court has spoken...

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Property Speaking - August 2011

01 August 2011

In this edition of Property Speaking: New Unit Titles Legislation Now In Force; Buyers Beware: No LIM or Builder’s Report?; Rest Home Subsidies and the Abolition of Gift Duty; Buying and Selling a Unit Title Property; Residential Property Developments to Become Acceptable Investments Under New Zealand Immigration Investor Category Instructions...

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Rural eSpeaking - July 2011

25 July 2011

In the Winter edition of Rural eSpeaking: Traps of the Abolition of Gift Duty; Improving Health and Safety of the Farm; Quad Bike Safety Guidelines; Employers to Retain Employment Agreements; and Forest Owners Must Make Decisions This Year...

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Fineprint - Winter 2011

15 July 2011

In the winter edition of Fineprint: Cancelling a Commercial Lease;Forest Owners Must Make Decisions this Year; Family Court Counsel-led Mediations; What's force majeure?; Don't Fence Me In: Issues with Neighbours; Postscript: Incorporated societies; Business interuption insurance; Unit Titles Act 2010; PPSA - Australian Style...

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Grazing Contracts - Getting Paid

11 July 2011

The law books are full of cases deciding who is going to get the goods (and get paid) when a business goes belly up. In Stockco Limited v Walker[i] Mrs Walker was successful, but the result could easily have been different as her success was probably due just as much...

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Frustrating Employment Contracts

20 June 2011

A farmer was faced with an awful situation - his four year old son told him and his wife that their farm worker had indecently assaulted him[i]. The farmer had worked closely with the worker - they shared lunch together, they played sport together regularly and on occasions they had...

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Commercial eSpeaking - May 2011

18 May 2011

In this issue of Commercial eSpeaking with have articles on: Franchising - The Pros and Cons, Anti-Competitive Behaviour, New Copyright Law, PPSA - Australian Style, Digital Legacy...

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To Pay Or Not To Pay... Real Estate Agent's Commission

09 May 2011

The sale of the Hadlows' farm did not run smoothly[i]. Despite signing several agreements and instituting legal proceedings against the purchaser, the purchaser did not complete the sale. The real estate agent in this case brought legal proceedings against the Hadlows for payment of $78,750 commission on the failed sale. Payment...

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The Abolition Of Gift Duty Implications From The Ministry Of Social Development

29 April 2011

The Ministry of Social development (the "Ministry") is responsible for the administration of the benefits system in New Zealand. The Ministry anticipates that with the proposed changes to the gifting legislation there is likely to be an increase in asset transfers and increase in gifting activity accordingly. The Ministry has...

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The Abolition Of Gift Duty And Its Implications

29 April 2011

The current law imposes restrictions on the amount that people can gift. A gifting of more than $27,000 per person per year will be subject to gift duty. The implication of this law, in terms of trust administration, is that most New Zealander's would transfer assets from their personal name...

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Property Speaking - May 2011

29 April 2011

In this Autumn edition, you can read articles on: The 'Solicitor's Approval Clause' Total Destruction of Premises Subject to a Commercial Lease Property Briefs: Legislation updates, GST on land transactions, Christchurch earthquake - buying property...

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No 8 Wire Solution Costs Landowner $286,000

11 April 2011

What New Zealand farmer hasn't found a No 8 wire solution to a problem facing him on the farm? Unfortunately for Mr Street of rural Taranaki, his solution to his drainage problem had devastating and costly consequences.[i] Mr Street's Drainage System Mr Street constructed a drainage system on his property so that...

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Fineprint - Autumn 2011

04 April 2011

Inside this issue of Fineprint, we have articles on: Gift Duty Abolition - How Will it Affect You? Tax Changes Affect LAQCs. Dying Intestate. Protecting Your Family's Inheritance - A Simple Asset Planning Technique. The Timing of Your Claim - Overhaul of the Limitation Act...

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Facing Excess Breath Alcohol Or Related Traffic Charges? Do You Need To Obtain A Limited Licence (Work Licence)?

15 March 2011

Norris Ward McKinnon can help you with all of your traffic related problems. This includes police charges for excess breath alcohol, careless driving or loss of traction (the boy racer charges), road user problems and applying for or obtaining a limited licence when you have been disqualified from holding...

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Farm Succession - One Family's Experience

14 March 2011

It's a common scenario – the son leaves school at 15 and works long hours on the family farm for low wages in the expectation that the farm will eventually be his. A recent case illustrates the consequences of the family's differing expectations of the arrangement and failure to record...

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Rural eSpeaking - March 2011

14 March 2011

In this issue of Rural eSpeaking: Personal Property Securities Act - Grappling with section 53 in a livestock purchase Leasing the Farm - Can be a practical solution Over the Fence: New minimum wage rates, Sharemilking arrangements: 2011-2012 season, Public Holidays: Easter 2011, GST zero-rating land transactions...

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Trust ESpeaking - March 2011

07 March 2011

In this issue of Trust eSpeaking: Gift Duty Abolition - From 1 October 2011, Rush to Trust - Or Maybe Not?, What Might Happen with Future Trusts Legislation?

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Neighbours And Boundary Trees - Returning Litter To Its Owner

17 January 2011

Legal issues are human issues, and unfortunately the courts can't always resolve them. Thankfully it is rare for disputes between neighbours to end up in court, or even for the police to be involved. What did the judge's decision in O'Byrne v Police[i] achieve? Although the judge set aside Mr...

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Water And Changing Boundaries - How Much Land Do You Really Own?

13 December 2010

When you bought your land your lawyer will have sent you a search copy of title to your land as recorded on the computer register. The computer register is generally regarded as being conclusive evidence of your ownership of the land and how much land is included in your title...

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Rural ESpeaking - December 2010

03 December 2010

In this issue we have articles on: Water, Water Everywhere - Now a finite resource, Access to the Outdoors - Unlocking the gates to your property, 90-day trial periods, Changes to employment legislation, Livestock grazing agreements...

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Fineprint - Spring/Summer 2010

24 November 2010

In this issue: Power to the People - Increased government power supply investment impacts on landowners, Crown Retail Deposit Guarantee Update, Gift duty to be abolished from October 2011, Going into business together, Financial Advisers Act 2008 Update, Where do I go for my Holidays? Guidelines for divorced or separated parents, Postscript - Major...

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Property Speaking - November 2010

24 November 2010

In this issue: Lessons from the Canterbury quake - Selling and buying property, Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 - Effective from 1 October 2010, Abolition of gift duty - Implications for family trusts, Encumbrances - What does the future hold?

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Farm Succession Made Easier - The Repeal Of Gift Duty

08 November 2010

As from 1 October 2011 it should be much easier to transfer assets to family members and trusts. The government has confirmed that it will definitely repeal gift duty and the law is expected to be introduced into Parliament this month. The implications are significant: Farmers will be able to put...

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Commercial ESpeaking - October 2010

11 October 2010

In this issue: New Patents Bill - Software patent strategy in New Zealand, 90-Day Trial Period Provisions on Trial - Employers get first written warning, Major employment law changes ahead – Claims for compensation under Agreements for Sale and Purchase...

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Trust ESpeaking - September 2010

03 September 2010

In this issue: Appointment of a Law Firm Partner as Executor - Clarification on the court correcting a Will, Running a Family Trust - Make sure it stands up to scrutiny,Trustee Nearly Bankrupted by the Construction Contracts Act - Take care when appointed a trustee...

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Property Speaking - August 2010

02 August 2010

In this issue: Transferring Assets during a Relationship - Can have implications under the Property (Relationships) Act, Landlocked Land - How can you get reasonable access?, Property Briefs: Personal Property Securities Register - registering a lessor’s interest, Securities Act: implications for owners of communal property...

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Rural ESpeaking - July 2010

23 July 2010

In this issue: Selling the Farm to Foreigners - Overseas investment Act 2005, Occupational Safety and Health - The rural perspective, Increase in GST: implications for rural business, Lack of ease in easements, Building a house on bare land: GST implications...

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