LLB, Partner
Amanda Douglas
Amanda leads the Employment and Health and Safety practice at Wynn Williams.  She acts for employers and employees on a variety of Employment Law matters, with a particular focus in the dispute resolution area.  This includes disciplinary steps, claims through the ERA and Employment Court, negotiations, and mediation.  Amanda also provides advice on employment agreements and organisational restructuring.  Amanda has the skills and experience to obtain a pragmatic negotiated outcome to many disputes.  Where resolution is not possible, she presents a well-considered case to the ERA or Court. 
 
Amanda also regularly advises on health and safety matters.  She has provided advice on the new health and safety legislation to a number of organisations and is assisting them to implement changes for compliance with the new legislation.  Amanda also defends Health and Safety prosecutions.  Amanda regularly presents at conferences and seminars on employment, and health and safety matters.
 
As a member of the National Dispute Resolution Team, Amanda also draws on her experience in the areas of Resource Management, Local Government and Relationship Property to resolve disputes.



"I enjoy working alongside clients to ensure that I understand their business or operations. That is invaluable in achieving the desired end result for the client.  I take a pragmatic approach to issues, but am not afraid to look for alternative or innovative ways to achieve a desired outcome "
Contact
Wynn Williams (Christchurch)
Level 5, Wynn Williams House,
47 Hereford Street,
Christchurch 8013,
New Zealand.

Specialities

Recent Projects

  • Drafting subcontractor agreement including health and safety clauses
  • Conducting bullying investigation and guiding employer through the resulting process
  • Advice on various drug and alcohol issues relating to impairment at work and testing
  • Drafting input to MBIE guidance document: "Repairing and Rebuilding Houses Affected by the Canterbury Earthquakes".
  • Advising an insurer on resource management and title issues for multi unit rebuilds and repairs.
  • Employment advice on transfer of employees on significant business sales and purchases.
  • Advising employers on disciplinary processes, performance management, and other employment processes.
  • Negotiation of various personal grievance claims for employers, and employees.
  • Employment restructuring of businesses.
  • Advising on and managing consultation processes on sales of businesses.
  • Defence of profit share claim against employer.
  • Drafting employment agreements.
  • Working with RTANZ staff and members on employment processes, documentation and advice.
  • Advice on activities under Christchurch Central City Plan (Blueprint).
  • Providing advice on, and securing, the ability to carry out work related to the demolition of buildings following the Canterbury earthquakes, and associated negotiations with various authorities.
  • Obtaining resource consent, on appeal, for contractor's depot.
  • Advising a local authority on consultation and other local government requirements for inclusion, at short notice, of remedial works in its Annual Plan and liaison with Office of the Auditor-General.
  • Obtaining consents for mineral extraction, quarrying and clean-filling activities at various locations in the South Island; and advising on ongoing resource management issues.
  • Submissions and representation on District Plan review, including the proposed Ashburton District Plan.
  • Wilson v Selwyn District Council [2005] NZRMA 76 (High Court) Landmark case on "receiving environment".
  • Huia Resorts Limited v Ashburton District Council, CA 29/05, Anderson P, McGrath J, O'Regan J - Successful opposition to application for leave to appeal on road stopping.
  • Commissioner appointed by local authority to make notification, and substantive, decision on 60 lot subdivision.
  • Strategic advice on potential prosecution resulting in no charges being laid.

Major Clients

  • Amanda acts for a wide range of clients including local authorities, public health authority, transport operators, contractors, tourism operator, an insurer, high country farm and forestry operation with offshore investors, large retailers, manufacturers, construction companies, property developers, and individuals. She is also regularly instructed by other law firms to act for their clients in the specialist resource management area.

Recent Articles

11/09/2017

Enforcement of Employment Standards

Recent decisions of the Employment Relations Authority indicate that the Labour Inspectorate is cracking down on workplaces to ensure that minimum employment standards are being met.

Keep reading...


9/12/2016

Training and Development in Performance Management

Amanda Douglas writes for the Human Resources Magazine regarding the employers obligation to ensure that employees are provided with the required training and development necessary to complete the job they are hired to carry out.

Keep reading...


29/11/2016

Disruption to work as a result of the 14 November earthquake and aftershocks

As time moves on from 14 November, the wider issues related to the damage begin to emerge. One such issue is the effect of disruption to work due to damage to buildings, loss of suppliers, broken or impassable roads. There is a particular effect on trucking, transport and tourism companies which rely on our roads and infrastructure to carry out their businesses, but there will be others who find the jobs that they are providing are disrupted.

Keep reading...


29/11/2016

Health & Safety issues arising from the 14 November earthquake and aftershocks

If you employ people or operate a workplace that others come to, and you have been affected by the recent earthquakes, you are likely to be thinking about your health and safety obligations. In an emergency situation like this, what is required of those who control a place of work mostly comes down to common sense. Your key drivers will be to ensure that people are not exposed to harm.

Keep reading...


12/09/2016

Every business needs employment agreements for staff

Statistics NZ says that 170,000 workers in our economy do not have written employment agreements. If you or your business is employing someone, it is a legal requirement to have a written employment agreement in place, even if the worker is part-time or casual.

Keep reading...


8/09/2016

Is your 90 day trial period correctly worded?

We advise all clients to include a 90 day trial period in the employment agreements for new employees who have not worked for your company before. A recent decision of the Employment Relations Authority* means that the employment contract needs to clearly specify when the 90 day trial period begins.

Keep reading...


29/08/2016

Employment agreements - are you compliant?

Changes to employment law came into force in April of this year. In light of these changes, employers may be required to update their employment agreements. Employers will have until 1 April 2017 to ensure their existing employment agreements are compliant with the new laws.

Keep reading...


29/08/2016

Drug and alcohol policies

A recent decision of the Employment Relations Authority has highlighted the importance of procedural fairness when disciplining staff for a failed drug test.

Keep reading...


3/12/2015

New Health & Safety Legislation - not something to fear

It is true that all organisations are going to be affected by the changes to the Act and that the duties of care imposed cannot be transferred or insured against, but it must be made clear that many organisations who prioritise health and safety will be already doing most of what is required.

Keep reading...


6/03/2015

What employers need to know from today - key changes

There have been multiple changes to New Zealand's employment law framework. The biggest of these, changes to the Employment Relations Act, take effect from today. But there are some other changes too which employers will benefit from being aware of.

Keep reading...


20/10/2014

Private Health and Safety Prosecutions

A number of private prosecutions under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (HSEA) have been signalled in recent months. Having recently been counsel in a HSEA private prosecution, Tim Mackenzie outlines the issues that practitioners considering a HSEA prosecution should consider. Registering an interest Any party interested in a potential prosecution must first formally notify Worksafe New Zealand (Worksafe) of an interest in any enforcement action being taken. Worksafe must then advise the interested party of any decisions taken including a decision not to prosecute. If Worksafe declines to prosecute it is sensible for your client to consider their reasons and give weight to them.

Keep reading...


12/03/2014

New Health & Safety Bill Introduced to Parliament

As discussed in our previous articles Impact of Health and Safety Reforms at Governance Level and Government Announces Law Reform Package for Workplace Safety, the Government’s “Working Safer” package aims to significantly reform New Zealand’s Health and Safety law. One of the most fundamental components of this change will be the introduction of entirely new legislation. This will replace the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (HSE).

Keep reading...


18/09/2013

Impact of Health and Safety Reforms at Governance Level

Recently, increased workplace safety attention has been directed toward the governing level of employer organisations. Particular catalysts for this have been the two recent Royal Commissions of Inquiry (Pike River and Canterbury Earthquakes), and a report from the cabinet appointed Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety (the Taskforce).

Keep reading...


26/08/2013

Existing Use Rights and The Christchurch Rebuild

Existing use rights under the Resource Management Act (RMA) have an important role to play in the Rebuild of Christchurch.

Keep reading...


19/08/2013

Government Announces Law Reform Package for Workplace Safety

Recently the Government announced its intention to overhaul the current employment health and safety laws, through the release of the Reform Package Working Safer – A blueprint for Health and Safety at Work. The Reform Package represents the most significant reform of New Zealand's workplace health and safety regime in 20 years.

Keep reading...


1/08/2013

How Safe is Your Goods Service Licence?

You are required under the Land Transport Act 1998 ("the Act") to hold and maintain a Transport Service Licence ("TSL"). If you lose your TSL, you cannot lawfully operate.

Keep reading...


2/07/2013

Changes to Employment Legislation

2013 looks to be the year that the Government will implement many of its pre-election policies.  On 26 April 2013, the Employment Relations Amendment Bill ("the Bill") was introduced by the Minister of Labour.  The Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee has now called for submissions on the Bill.

Keep reading...


1/07/2013

Discretionary Misconceptions: Bonus Payments in the Employment Relationship

Many employment agreements contain a bonus provision which will often be couched in terms that, on the face of it, seem to vest complete control of the operation of the bonus with the employer.

Keep reading...


17/06/2013

Select Committee Reports back on Resource Management Reform Bill

On 11 June 2013, the Local Government and Environment Select Committee released its report on the Resource Management Reform Bill with a majority recommendation that it be passed with amendment.

Keep reading...


9/06/2013

Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace

Everyone knows that an employee who turns up at work under the influence of drugs or alcohol poses a very real risk not only just to their own safety but also to the safety of other employees and customers - especially where the operation of heavy machinery is involved.  This doesn't always (but can) involve blatant drug or alcohol use at work.  Sometimes, as an employer, you are dealing with the after-effects of drug or alcohol use by your employee the night before.  In other instances, you are trying to screen for drugs and alcohol in a safety sensitive area.

Keep reading...


28/05/2013

Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill

The Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill was introduced in Parliament on 16 May 2013. A very short period of consultation was allowed, with submissions to the Select Committee due on 30 May 2013.

Keep reading...


14/03/2013

Proposed Changes to the Construction Contracts Act 2002

On 29 January 2013, the Construction Contracts Amendment Bill (the "Bill") was introduced to Parliament.  The Bill proposes changes to extend the application of the Construction Contracts Act (the "CCA") to residential construction contracts, and to widen the group of professionals covered by the CCA.  It also proposes to amend the enforcement and adjudication processes and to allow more direct enforcement of determinations under the CCA. 

Keep reading...


17/02/2013

CERA Acquisitions for Anchor Projects

The Christchurch Central City Recovery Plan could result in the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority compulsorily acquiring large tracts of the central city for the Anchor Projects.

Keep reading...


3/02/2013

Avoiding Employment Costs of a Business Sale or Restructure

If you sell or transfer your business, you need to consider the employment consequences of selling the business or transferring the business to another entity.  Many employers do not think about this. However, when you do sell your business to a third party, or even transfer it to an associated entity, you trigger the restructuring and redundancy provisions of the Employment Relations Act 2000 ("ERA 2000").  If you don’t have the right measures in place, this can be costly – even where the employees continue in their same roles with the new employer or entity.

Keep reading...


21/01/2013

Summary of Decisions Requested on Proposed Plans - the Importance of Getting it Right

Many local authorities around the country are in the process of reviewing regional and district plans, prior to notifying proposed new versions of those documents.  Interested persons will be able to lodge submissions and further submissions on the proposed plans.

Keep reading...


28/11/2012

When the RMA bites

One of our resource management partners Amanda Douglas writes an article for the Q& M New Zealand Quarrying & Mining about the Resource Management Act.

Keep reading...


20/11/2012

Compulsory Acquisition in the Central City

Many landowners in the central city have now received letters from CERA, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, informing them that their land in the central city has been designated for Anchor Projects under the Central City Recovery Plan.  This article describes the processes of designation, acquisition and compensation under the CER Act.

Keep reading...


5/11/2012

Proposed Employment Relations Act Changes

The Government has announced further reforms to the Employment Relations Act (the "Act") which it proposes to include in legislation, which would come into effect in the second half of 2013.

Keep reading...


29/10/2012

Road Metals Limited v Selwyn District Council and Environment Canterbury

Road Metals Company Limited (Road Metals) sought consent to establish and operate a quarry, involving surface extraction of river metals from a property in Burnham adjacent to Rolleston. Both district and regional consents were needed.

Keep reading...


28/10/2012

The Christchurch CBD Blueprint: Resource Management Issues

The blueprint for the Central City has been released, so what does it mean – particularly if you own property in the Central City?  How does it affect existing activities in the new zones?

Keep reading...


22/10/2012

Prosecution Risks under the Resource Management Act 1991

Did you hear the one about the developer, the contractor, the sub-contractor and the engineer?  The contractor was responsible for the earthworks, the sub contractor carried out the works, the developer assured the contractor that no resource consents were required and the engineer oversaw the project.  Who do you think was prosecuted when unconsolidated sediment made its way into streams and, ultimately, the sea, following heavy rain?

Keep reading...


28/06/2012

Successful Judicial Review proceedings for Akaroa Marine Protection Society

The Akaroa Harbour Marine Protection Society Inc (the "Society") made an application in 1995 seeking a marine reserve within the Akaroa Harbour. The Minister of Conservation (the "Minister") declined the application on the basis that the reserve would unduly interfere with or adversely affect existing recreational use of the area, particularly for recreational fishing.

Keep reading...


25/06/2012

Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill

This Bill aims to improve the operation of local government and the delivery of public services by focusing councils on operating more efficiently and within a more confined sphere than currently.

Keep reading...


13/11/2011

Dealing with Resource Management matters after the earthquake

Following the February 22 earthquake, new Orders in Council have been made under the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act 2010 (enacted following September 2010 earthquake).

Keep reading...


20/04/2011

Biosecurity Law Reform Bill

The Biosecurity Law Reform Bill was introduced to Parliament on 10 December 2010. It has been referred
to the Primary Production select committee, with submissions due by Thursday 10 February 2011.

Keep reading...


4/01/2011

Aquaculture Reform

The Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill (No 3) was introduced in Parliament on 16 November 2010.  It has been referred to the Primary Production select committee, with submissions due by Friday 11 February 2011.

Keep reading...


30/10/2010

Priority and Notifiability of Applications for Consent - Central Plains Water

The Central Plains Water saga - all the way up to the Supreme Court, and this is just the preliminary
skirmishing. The hearing of CPW's application to take water for irrigation, by the Council's commissioners,
has not yet concluded - so appeals on the actual application are still just a twinkle in the parties' eyes.

Keep reading...


29/10/2010

Existing Use Rights and the Permitted Baseline - Rodney District Council v Eyres Eco-Park Limited

The Courts in this litigation examined the relationship between existing use rights and the permitted
baseline, and the relationship between the common law permitted baseline and the statutory permitted
baseline. They also provided guidance on the date at which existing use rights are assessed, where
activities lessen over time and further restricting rules are introduced.

Keep reading...


28/10/2010

Appellants Giving Evidence as Expert Witnesses - Briggs

Finally, a warning sounded by the Court in the case of Briggs v Christchurch City Council, where the Court
said it was drawing a line in the sand about parties giving expert evidence to the Court in their own cases.

Keep reading...


27/10/2010

Prohibited Activities - The Coromandel Watchdog Case

The Court of Appeal's decision in this case produced a major change in the approach which should be taken
to prohibited activity status. There was a very restricted view taken by the lower courts in this case, and
other cases. The Court of Appeal has said that there are quite a few circumstances in which it is
appropriate to make an activity a prohibited activity in a plan.

Keep reading...


24/10/2010

Running to Stand Still - Legislative Changes & Implications for Territorial Authority Compliance - R

This paper sets out some of the amendments brought into effect by the Resource Management (Simplifying
and Streamlining) Amendment Act 2009, which impact on resource consent applications. Whether you are
a council planner applying the amendments to the processing of an application or a consultant planner
preparing an application and steering it through the processing stage, you need to know the ins and outs of
the amendments.

Keep reading...


20/10/2010

Technical Paper: Implications of Resource Management Act Amendments in the Transportation Area

An outline of the amendments to the Resource Management Act which came into effect on 1 October
2009, with particular focus on amendments which impact on the processes and practices of transport
engineers and planners.

Keep reading...


10/05/2010

Simplifying and Streamlining of Resource Consent Applications

The Resource Management (Simplifying and Streamlining) Amendment Act 2009 came into effect on 1
October 2009, bringing a number of changes aimed at ‘simplifying and streamlining’ a number of resource
management processes.

Keep reading...


Reported Decisions

  • Huia Resorts Ltd v Ashburton District Council [2005] NZRMA 449
  • Wilson v Selwyn District Council [2005] NZRMA 76
  • Wilson v Selwyn District Council (2004) 17 PRNZ 461
  • Re Application by Canterbury Regional Council [2004] NZRMA 266
  • Wilson v Selwyn District Council [2003] NZRMA 350
  • Pegasus Bay Beach Users Association Inc v Hurunui District Council [2003] NZRMA 138
  • Federated Farmers of New Zealand v Canterbury Regional Council [2002] 8 ELRNZ 223
  • Cheviot Federated Farmers v Hurunui District Council [2002] NZRMA 74
  • McKinlay v Timaru District Council [2001] NZRMA 569

Memberships

  • Human Resources Institute of New Zealand
  • Canterbury Women's Legal Association
  • New Zealand Contractors' Federation (NZCF)
  • IPENZ
  • Road Transport Association New Zealand (RTANZ)
  • Resource Management Law Association

Speaking Engagements

  • Employment Law Sessions: Redundancy & Restructuring, Disciplinary Process, and Personal Grievance
  • ACC Supermarket Forum – New Health and Safety Legislation (November 2015)
  • Education Law Conference - Health and Safety Prosecutions: A guide to minimising your risks (November 2015)
  • Goodman Fielder Linehaul Conference - New Health & Safety Legislation and impact on small business (October 2015)
  • Road Transport Association NZ - Regional Conferences - Employment Law
  • Presenter at IPENZ Conference in 2014
  • Presenter at 2012 Quarry Conference
  • Presenter at NZPI Conference in 2010 and 2011
  • Presenter at NZLS (Canterbury/Westland) Seminars on Resource Management
  • Presenter at IPENZ Transportation Conference in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013



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Wynn Williams Christchurch
Level 5, Wynn Williams House, 47 Hereford Street, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand.
PO Box 4341, DX WX11179, Christchurch 8140.
+64 3 379 7622
+64 3 379 2467
Wynn Williams Auckland
Level 11, AIG Building, 41 Shortland Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand.
PO Box 2401, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140.
+64 9 300 2600
+64 9 300 2609
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