Legal articles & publications

Has your property been damaged by Cyclone Fehi?

By: Emily Walton

If Cyclone Fehi has caused flooding, landslip or other damage to your property, you can lodge a claim with EQC by calling 0800 DAMAGE. You have up to three months to do so. You can also lodge a claim with your insurer in respect of the damage your house, garage and other outbuildings may have suffered.

"No Oral Variation" clauses and their enforceability: the current legal landscape in New Zealand and England

By: Shane Campbell

Is it possible to agree in writing that you will not alter that agreement other than by writing? It is common for commercial contracts to have a clause proscribing oral variations (or variations by conduct), or at least attempting to do so. It is also increasingly common for parties to enter into dispute about the efficacy of oral variations notwithstanding the presence of such clauses. The question for practitioners is whether such clauses are enforceable.

90 day trial periods – soon to change for some

By: Amanda Douglas, Sophie Carter

The Labour-led Government has announced that the use of 90 day trial periods will be prohibited for any business that employs more than 19 employees. The Bill proposing the changes is expected to be introduced to Parliament on Monday 29 January 2018

Do councils now owe a duty of care to building developers?

By: Jonathan Pow

Jonathan Pow and Isabella van Woerkom discuss the recent Supreme Court decision in Southland Indoor Leisure Centre Charitable Trust v Invercargill City Council.

Earthquake-prone buildings: an update

By: Emily Walton

On 1 July 2017, the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016 came into force. It amends the Building Act 2004 to include special provisions for earthquake-prone buildings and replaces the individual earthquake-prone building policies.

Tenants' liability for damage – High Court ruling

By: Richard Hargreaves

The Court of Appeal in Holler v Osaki confirmed that a residential tenant who damages their landlord's property carelessly can not be sued by their landlord in respect of the damage. In November 2017, the High Court released a new judgment on tenants' liability, in Linklater v Dickinson.

Dishonest real estate agents beware

By: Annie Cao, Hazel Bowering-Scott

Dishonestly offending will be taken seriously when applying to be a licensed salesperson, as is demonstrated in the recent case Real Estate Agents Authority v A [2017] NZHC 2929.

Water, water everywhere - but not a drop to drink

By: Lucy de Latour

Following the August 2016 outbreak of campylobacteriosis in Havelock North, the Government established an inquiry to investigate and report on the outbreak. The Stage One Report was released on 8 May 2017 and identified what happened, the cause of the outbreak and provided an assessment of the people and agencies responsible for providing safe drinking water to Havelock North.

Upcoming parental leave changes

By: Charlene Sell, Amanda Douglas

Employers will need to be aware of the upcoming changes to parental leave which will take effect in mid-2018.

Relationship property reform – have your say

By: Annie Cao

The Law Commission is reviewing the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (PRA). Since 1976, New Zealand society has changed dramatically. The way people enter and leave relationships has evolved. The value that people place on marriages has changed and New Zealand is now more ethnically diverse.

New year's resolutions about staff - start the process now

By: Amanda Douglas

In our experience, the lead up to Christmas and the New Year is when employers often look ahead to their staffing needs for the upcoming year. Often, it is at this time that employers identify employment issues.

Insolvency update - voidable transactions and payments made by third parties

By: Stephanie Woods

A recent High Court case: McCullagh v Robt Jones Holdings Limited [2017] NZHC 2182, provides an interesting illustration of the application of the voidable transaction regime to payments made by third parties on behalf of a debtor company.




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