Legal articles & publications

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.

Fluoridation of water in New Zealand – have your say

By: Shane Campbell

On the 17 November 2016, the Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Amendment Bill (Bill) was introduced into Parliament; its aim being to amend the Health Act 1956 (Act) to enable District Health Boards (DHBs) to make decisions and give directions about the fluoridation of government drinking water supplies in their areas.

Reopening an insurance cash settlement agreement? Supreme Court says no!

By: Sarah Ulmer, Bethany Entwistle

In Prattley Enterprises Limited v Vero Insurance NZ Limited [2016] NZSC 158 the Supreme Court unanimously confirmed that a signed settlement agreement was binding on the parties, where the insured party asserts it was operating under a mistake over its entitlement under the policy. On appeal from the Court of Appeal, Prattley had (again) sought to set aside the settlement agreement it signed with its insurer Vero, on the basis that both it and Vero entered the settlement under a common mistake as to the correct measure of indemnity under the policy.

The importance of complying with court orders

By: Shane Campbell

When a court makes an order, the party or parties against whom those orders are made may well query what will happen if they do not comply with those orders. The recent decision of Palmer J in Zhang v King David Investments Ltd (in Liq) [2016] NZHC 3018 provides an example of the adverse consequences which can occur.

Injured player decides to sue – the right thing to do?

By: Nicholas Lawrence

Alex McKinnon, a former Newcastle Knights NRL player left a quadriplegic after being upended in a tackle by the Melbourne Storm's Jordan McLean in 2014, is planning to sue the NRL and Mr McLean personally, seeking damages as a result of the incident.

Training and Development in Performance Management

By: Amanda Douglas

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.




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