Legal articles & publications

Proposed changes to voidable transactions: feedback sought

By: Jared Ormsby, Stephanie Woods, Annie Cao

The Government's Insolvency Working Group has this week issued its second report, which includes its recommendations on changes to the voidable transactions regime. Two key changes are proposed.

Bankruptcy: Court clarifies its powers to approve payment proposals

By: Annie Cao

You are a creditor and have served a bankruptcy notice on a judgment debtor. The debtor puts forward a payment proposal which you reject. The debtor then applies to the Court seeking to set aside the bankruptcy notice and requests that the payment proposal be approved. Does the Court have jurisdiction to approve the payment proposal, despite the creditor's refusal?

Debtor delays – strategic considerations on debtor appeal

By: Stephanie Woods

You have obtained judgment against your debtor in the District Court or the High Court and are looking towards your enforcement options, such as bankruptcy or liquidation proceedings. But what if the debtor decides to appeal the decision – can you still enforce the judgment?

Wellington Fish and Game Council v Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council [2017] NZEnvc 37 – summary of the One Plan Declarations

By: Kirstie Wyss

This decision of the Environment Court concerns an application for various declarations made by Wellington Fish and Game Council and the Environmental Defence Society Inc, that the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council has been failing to correctly implement the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Plan.

The future of the Resource Management Act – is the current Resource Legislation Amendment Bill the final amendment?

By: Lucy de Latour, Julia McKeown

The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill is currently progressing through Parliament whilst Government is undertaking other pieces of significant work in relation to the New Zealand planning system, which brings into question the fate of the Resource Management Act 1991.

Enduring Powers of Attorney - changes coming into force

By: Laura Wood

Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) are important documents where a person (donor) appoints representatives (attorney/s) to take care of their affairs if they lose mental capacity. There is a common misconception that only the elderly need to have EPAs but anyone can become mentally incapable at any age. In addition there is the ability for EPAs to take effect while a donor still has mental capacity. There are two types of EPAs: one in relation to property and one in relation to personal care and welfare. The Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 (the Act) sets out the requirements for EPAs. Amendments to the Act come into force on 16 March 2017. These include a change to plain language forms of EPAs so that they are simpler and easier to follow for donors and attorneys alike. From 16 March 2017, EPAs in the old forms that are not fully executed will need to be re-done on the new forms. Any EPAs in the old form that are fully executed before this date will still be effective.

The final word on disclosure of trust information to beneficiaries

By: Annie Cao

The Supreme Court in Erceg v Erceg [2017] NZSC 28 has confirmed the court's important role in supervising trustee decisions to not disclose information to beneficiaries. In clarifying the scope of the court's supervisory role, this decision should assist beneficiaries in holding trustees to account.

Covert recordings by employees

By: Naoimh McSparron

Naoimh McSparron writes for the LawTalk Magazine on the admissibility of covert audio recordings in the employment context, the approach taken by the courts and the Employment Relations Authority (ERA), and the practical effect of that approach for those in an employment dispute.

Contract and Commercial Law Bill passed into law

By: Charlene Sell

On 16 February 2017 the Contract and Commercial Law Bill passed its third reading. The Bill consolidates 11 contract and commercial Acts into a single piece of legislation. The drafters have also taken the opportunity to update the legislation to simplify the language used and make it more accessible and easier to understand.

Changes to freshwater management

By: Lucy de Latour, Imogen Edwards

Today the Government announced a suite of further freshwater management reforms. The headline change is a new target that 90 per cent of New Zealand's lakes and rivers meet swimmable water quality standards by 2040.

Court confirms wide-ranging rating powers

By: Imogen Edwards

The recent decision of the High Court in Meridian Energy Company v Wellington City Council [2017] NZHC 48 has reaffirmed the broad discretion and wide-ranging powers of local bodies to set rates under the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 (Rating Act). The Court has also confirmed that both general and target rates can be set differentially, within the one rating unit, depending on the use to which the land is put.

Have your say on the Draft New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy

By: Imogen Edwards

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is calling for submissions on the recently released Draft New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy 2017-2022.




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